Johnson Matthey in Acquisition of Battery Developer, OXIS

Picking it up after it entered administration, Johnson Matthey will use its new assets for the manufacturing of components for green hydrogen production.

By Joel Davies -

Johnson Matthey has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Oxis Energy Limited, a lithium-sulfur battery developer with assets that can be adapted for the manufacturing of components for green hydrogen production. The company, based near Oxford, UK, entered administration on 19 May 2021.

Johnson Matthey is a science and technology company, focused on developing sustainable, green and renewable technologies in areas such as low emission transport, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing, whilst OXIS developed technology around sulfur-based cathode materials, highly stable electrolyte systems and an anode made of Lithium metal and intercalation materials.

OXIS had 44 patent families, 214 patents granted and 106 pending covering electrolyte systems for lithium-sulfur cells, methods of lithium-sulfur cell construction and also positive and negative electrodes. The company and its research partners were developing Li-S chemistry that can be used in many battery applications, with mass production of the cells handled in manufacturing plants in Brazil and the UK.

Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey stated: “We are delighted to secure this acquisition. The capability this opportunity delivers will enable our green hydrogen business to accelerate the scale-up of CCM production in line with market demand. The purchase of these assets further demonstrates our commitment to developing a low carbon economy and progressing towards net-zero”.

Johnson Matthey says that with “moderate additional investment in upgrades”, the transaction will “significantly accelerate” the scale-up of JM’s growing Green Hydrogen business. Absorbing the technology and research of OXIS, the company will continue to develop, test, and manufacture catalyst coated membranes and advanced materials for electrolysers.

Johnson Matthey OXIS
One of the lithium-sulfur batteries produced by Oxis Energy, with a battery cell alongside. Image: OXIS Energy.

The site will also enable the production of tens of thousands of catalyst coated membrane parts per year – enough to equip hundreds of megawatts of electrolyser capacity. Johnson Matthey states that the market for catalyst coated membranes and advanced materials for electrolysers continues to develop very rapidly and in response to positive progress with customers.

Eugene McKenna, Managing Director Green Hydrogen, commented: “Acquiring Oxis Energy’s assets enables us to support our customers as they meet the strong demand for proton exchange membrane electrolysers used to produce green hydrogen.

“Improving electrolyser efficiency and reducing the cost of hydrogen are key to the further development of the green hydrogen market and scaling up CCM manufacturing will help bring JM and our customers closer to achieving this goal”.

In addition to accelerating Green Hydrogen scale-up, the acquisition of OXIS’s IP portfolio in lithium-sulfur and adjacent battery technologies presents opportunities for JM’s Battery Materials business to advance its development of future battery material technologies.

You can find more information about the acquisition of OXIS by Johnson Matthey on its website.

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