If you follow clean tech news at all, you've heard of the impending shortage of rare earth metals that are used in everything from electric vehicle batteries to solar panels, which could cause major problems for clean tech growth down the road. The solutions to this problem are to both source alternative materials for these technologies and to develop large-scale recycling for these metals.
Honda has apparently been paying attention because it announced this week that it would start recycling the rare earth metals used in the nickel-metal hydride batteries in its hybrids to be used again in Honda vehicle parts.
Honda is the first auto company to take this on. According to the automaker, the partnership with Japan Metals & Chemicals is not a small experimental project. The recycling of these metals will be a mass-production process at a recycling plant -- the first of its kind in the world.
Japan Metals & Chemicals has established a process that can extract as much as 80 percent of rare earth metals in the batteries with purity as high as newly mined and refined metals. The metals will go on to be used in new batteries as well as other auto parts. Honda hopes to begin extracting the metals from additional auto parts soon.via Honda
written by Winston, June 26, 2012
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