Research into emission control, process and low carbon technologies by Johnson Matthey will be supported by a GBP100m (US$160m) loan agreed with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The loan will support Johnson Matthey's research in light and heavy duty vehicle emission control and developing catalyst technologies that meet stricter emission standards.

The research will also support work in advanced platinum group metal refining technology and in developing more environmentally friendly materials for applications ranging from glass to electronics.

"Improving technology to reduce pollution is a key to improving air quality and fighting climate change," said EIB vice president, Simon Brooks.

"The European Investment Bank recognises the essential role of specialist emission research and development techniques to reduce harmful emissions from both vehicles and industry.

"We are pleased to support Johnson Matthey's engagement in this field and to support their contribution to improved emission controls and fuel cell research."

The EIB finance will be used to support work at Johnson Matthey's Sonning Common, Berkshire and Billingham, Teeside, R&D centres during the next two years.

Specific research and development activity by Johnson Matthey's Environmental Technologies Division and other business units will cover process catalysis, fuel cells, emission control catalysts and low carbon technology. This will also include research collaboration with universities, research centres and business partners.

More than GBP21bn of loans have been provided for UK based projects during the last five years, including support for development of low emission engines with JaguarLandRover and electric battery research with Nissan UK.