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Case Study

B.spkl - Christina Houlihan & Jérôme Leveneur

Firing atoms at catalyst-coated membranes to optimise precious metals

We manufacture catalyst coated membranes for electrolyser manufacturers using ion beam implantation, a technology used in the semiconductor industry. By exciting and then firing atoms at a catalyst coated membrane, we change the surface of the membrane layers and reduce the amount of iridium and platinum required for the production of green hydrogen.

Our process uses 25 times less catalysts material, resulting in a 12% reduction in electrolyser cost. There is also a global shortage of these precious metals, so we enable electrolyser manufacturers to bypass the bottlenecks in the supply chain for precious metals.

How did WNT Ventures help us?

I was aware of WNT Ventures when I worked at a research organisation in Wellington and I’ve known MJ Alvarez for years. She’s been great at staying in touch and has been incredibly supportive of our endeavours.

Finding experts in the field of ion beam technology commercialisation is rare indeed. While WNT were carrying out its due diligence, they managed to find someone with that expertise through their international connections and the information gained from that source has been invaluable in mapping out our commercialisation strategy.

WNT’s enthusiasm, initiative and connections in New Zealand and overseas demonstrated the value of working with them and gave us the confidence that we were in safe hands.

What does the future hold?

We announced a cap raise in June 2022 and we anticipate our first electroyser manufacturing customer coming onstream within the next 3-5 years.

“By using our catalyst-coated membranes, the world only needs 1.15 tonnes of iridium to meet its 2030 targets, rather than 17.7 tonnes."
Christine Houlihan, CEO, b.spkl
Jérôme Leveneur
Christina Houlihan
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