Bekaert makes Series-B investment in electrocatalyst maker Pajarito Powder

Bekaert Fiber Technologies

September 1, 2022

Investment helps accelerate scale-up of Pajarito Powder’s advanced catalysts

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, USA, and ZWEVEGEM, BELGIUM – September 1, 2022 – Bekaert has made a Series-B investment into U.S.-based startup Pajarito Powder. The investment increases Bekaert’s participation in the hydrogen industry and accelerates the growth of the hydrogen ecosystem.

Pajarito is a hydrogen and fuel cell catalyst maker whose backers include Hyundai Motor Company. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global €5.9 billion wire and coating technologies company whose products include critical subcomponents for electrolyzers, which derive green hydrogen from water.

Bekaert’s investment will aid Pajarito’s work in improving the performance and cost-efficiency of fuel cell and electrolyzer stacks. Longer-lasting electrolyzers and fuel cells are critical to reducing their costs and improving the financial argument for increased global dependance on hydrogen as a key energy source.

“Demand for green hydrogen is increasing as more nations recognize it as a way to meet energy needs while slashing carbon emissions and reducing dependence on oil and gas,” Pajarito Powder Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Stephenson said. “Bekaert is a highly regarded global company whose backing, combined with our existing backing from Hyundai, further augments the credibility of our work and accelerates our ability to deliver high-performance catalyst products to the rapidly expanding green-hydrogen market.”

Bekaert VP Fiber Technologies, Inge Schildermans, said Bekaert is impressed by the work Pajarito Powder is doing to make more efficient and effective electrocatalysts for electrolyzers and fuel cells.

“Bekaert is committed to developing green and sustainable solutions for our customers, with a particular focus on improving the performance of components necessary for the electrolysis needs of the future,” Inge Schildermans added. “We are committed to innovation and the scale-up of components and equipment that will make the vision of a global hydrogen economy a near-term reality, and we see Pajarito Powder as a key part of that reality.”


About Pajarito Powder

Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Pajarito Powder, LLC is a world leader in the development and commercialization of advanced electrocatalysts for fuel cells and electrolyzers. Pajarito Powder manufactures a range of catalyst products using its own intellectual property as well as intellectual property licensed from the University of New Mexico,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. Pajarito Powder manufacturers catalysts for use with proton-exchange membranes (PEM) and alkaline fuel cells and electrolyzers; it also manufactures a proprietary Precious-Metal-Free catalyst for fuel cells. Pajarito Powder materials more effectively use the platinum group metals (PGM) component of catalysts, resulting in higher performance, better stability and improved durability.

Pajarito Powder is a venture-backed startup funded by Bekaert, Hyundai Motor Company, Verge Fund, Omphalos Venture Partners and other private investors.


About Bekaert

Bekaert ( is a world market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coating technologies. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with more than 27 000 employees worldwide, headquarters in Belgium and € 5.9 billion in combined revenue in 2021.

Bekaert has established a technology and market leadership position in porous transport layers for electrolysis technologies with the brandname Currento®. The company invests in the development of next generations innovative solutions for green hydrogen production as well as in expanding its production footprint to multiple GW capacity. The creativity of Bekaert Fiber Technologies goes beyond steel, with the development and production of fibers made of copper, aluminum, titanium and nickel and transforming them into porous media for a large variety of applications.

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Pajarito Powder benefits from resources provided by the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department:  JTIP, STEP and other programs through the Office of Science and Technology.