Funding for the MANGAN cluster project – Manganese as a catalyst for electrolysis
The power-to-gas concept shows great promise for a future with a very high proportion of renewable electricity generation. Surplus electricity is used to produce hydrogen with the aid of water electrolysis and, when required, in a second step this is converted into synthetic methane using carbon dioxide. This gas can be transported, stored, and used for various applications.
At the moment it is still not economically viable to split water by electrolysis from the aspect of energy efficiency, such as amount of energy required and material lifetime, but also due to a lack of low-cost catalyst materials. The aim of the MANGAN cluster project is to determine the technological potential of manganese as a catalyst for electrolysis.
For example, could manganese compounds take over the function of the rare noble metals ruthenium and iridium currently used for this purpose? The expensive noble metals could become superfluous as catalysts and be replaced by the abundant element manganese. A total of 30 experts in the MANGAN cluster project will determine the technical potential of manganese. The cluster comprises ten universities and four research establishments, such as the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, as well as an industrial company that monitors the project from the end-user perspective. Upon completion of the project, a practice-oriented recommendation will be made to users and the performance of manganese as a catalyst will be quantitatively evaluated.
Since 1 May 2015, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been providing the cluster with funds of about € 12.3 million for the next four years.