Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Honda found the way to recycle rare materials in batteries.

Honda-Recycle-CircleRechargeable batteries are everywhere you look nowadays. All our gadgets use them, electric cars rely on them, and as we move toward green energy solutions for the home, we’ll need them there too.
 The problem is, batteries require the use of expensive rare earth materials that are in high demand. 

Until now, once those materials are used in a battery they are gone, never to be used again for the most part. However, Honda has developed a new process that allows them to extract and recycle rare earth materials from old batteries.


The breakthrough has come through a collaboration with Japan Metals & Chemicals Ltd. (JMC), and means that producing rechargeable batteries on a massive scale should get cheaper and more environmentally friendly going forward.


Honda’s extraction process collects at least 80% of the rare earth materials from a Ni-MH battery. Those materials are of the same purity as those “mined and refined,” meaning they can be reused in new batteries without further work.

JMC already has the extraction system running at a recycling plant where it is classed as a mass production line. For the moment, old electric car batteries will undergo the recycling process, but there are plans to expand it to other batteries in the future.

If Honda and JMC can continue to refine the process and improve upon the extraction rate, it should help to meet the increasing demand for batteries while minimizing the strain on the supply of rare earths. It will also force other car and battery manufacturers to adopt similar recycling systems in order to compete on price while maintaining their green credentials.

icreati: Hi-Tech News.