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Johnson Matthey donates cryogenic storage capacity for COVID-19 response

| By Mary Bailey

As it prepares to open its battery materials application center at the science and technology park in Milton Park, Oxfordshire later this year, Johnson Matthey (JM; London; has installed 3000-liter cryogenic bulk liquid tanks, which will hold nitrogen and argon.

Subsequently, Air Liquide, a key supplier for JM, had been in conversations with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) about ensuring they had sufficient storage equipment in hospitals. As a result of the conversation, Air Liquide approached JM to see if it could donate these tanks to be used for oxygen storage in hospitals. Given the unprecedented nature of the current COVID-19  emergency, JM agreed to the request. Installation of a liquid oxygen supply system at another JM’s plant in the north east of England has also been suspended, and a further tank will be redeployed to the NHS.

Andru O’Farill, Head of Application Testing, Engineering and Maintenance for Battery Materials, said: “When we received the call, it was an instant decision. We’re delighted to help the NHS in a small way by releasing these tanks for use in hospitals. They hadn’t been used so it will be simple to hand them over. It’s important that we all do our bit to help and I’m proud that we’ve been able to do that. Thanks to the whole team for helping make this happen.”

At the new site in Milton Park, JM is developing next-generation battery materials with improved energy density while minimizing the use of expensive and scarce raw material such as cobalt.