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Honda to Recycle Rare Earth Metals From Hybrid Batteries

Business  (tags: environment, recycling, Honda, batteries, rare metals, energy, corporate, business, technology, SustainableDevelopment )

- 2191 days ago -
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.

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Michael O (176)
Friday April 20, 2012, 8:03 pm
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.


Sue Matheson (79)
Friday April 20, 2012, 8:18 pm

Danuta W (1248)
Saturday April 21, 2012, 6:41 am

Sue H (7)
Saturday April 21, 2012, 10:18 am
Good on Honda! Tried to "note" but got error page.

paul m (93)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 12:51 am


David C (133)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 6:50 am
as a Civic hybrid owner, I hope this is as good as it sounds....

Danuta W (1248)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 9:09 am

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 9:51 am

Douglas K (134)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 11:53 am
Everything must be recycled. For example if all paper packaging including retail packaging, cardboard boxes, envelopes, letters, office paper, were recycled one might see less trees cut down in Siberia and other places. There ought be paper recycling bins in every corporate retail business in the parking lot, such as there were back in the 70s and 80s. Paper is not recycled in these parts.The same goes for metal and metal wire which is produced by heating rocks and collecting the melted molten metal. And also plastic has various uses when recycled.

Douglas K (134)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 11:59 am
Forests in Canada and Siberia and throughout the world ought not be deforested. Instead why not grow stands of bamboo to build lightweight homes and other structures with the new superstrong icosahedral dome and other superstrong reinforced designs, etc. Forests act as a carbon zinc according to climatologists, therefore they ought not be cut down, but added to, and if there is logging, a new tree must be planted for every one logged, or at least a lot of pine cones placed in the area of the logged tree to let nature plant new trees with rainfall followed by germination.

Fred Krohn (34)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 12:46 pm
This at least partly answers my main complaint with modern electric vehicle tech: the new-tech batteries are loaded with various toxic metals and compounds. Even the 'tried and true' battery tech uses lead and arsenic; teh 'ultramodern' batteries use lithium, cadmium, and other environmental toxins. Nickel Iron cells were much less toxic back in the days of the Baker Electric... I hope this ability to recover and re-use the expensive toxics from Honda's expired batteries helps.

Robert O (12)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 1:11 pm
Sounds like a great idea that will do some good. Kudos to Honda! Thanks Michael.

Hartson Doak (39)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 2:09 pm
Adam, hemp also would be a great source of materials to make paper, cloths, food and fuels.As for a shortage of Rare Earths Bolivia have untapped resources as does Afghanistan.

Doug G (0)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 4:47 pm
There are few corporations I like but Honda at least tries to make it footprint smaller and offers practical reliable cars without all the bs so many other automakers have. This is why I will always buy Honda products.

. (0)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 4:50 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 7:29 pm
Thanks for the article.

Quanta Kiran (67)
Sunday April 22, 2012, 10:26 pm

Gina M (0)
Monday April 23, 2012, 7:36 am
My next car will be a HONDA!!

JL A (281)
Monday April 23, 2012, 8:16 am
Kudos to Honda! Hope all automakers follow suit.

Kerrie G (116)
Monday April 23, 2012, 12:05 pm
Noted, thanks.

Emma S (239)
Monday April 23, 2012, 1:56 pm
Promising... Thank you, Michael.

Michael M (5)
Monday April 23, 2012, 3:20 pm
It is good to know they will be recycling these rare materials. Like oil, once they are gone, I wonder how the human race is going to continue to have their portable toys and nick-knacks. Of course, this brings to the question of WTF have they been doing all this time before they were recycling these materials?

Janice Stanton (1)
Monday April 23, 2012, 6:16 pm
Fyi...Honda is not the first to be doing this. BASF, THE chemical company, has been doing it for several years.

Jane H (139)
Monday April 23, 2012, 7:18 pm
Thanks for the good news

Glamour Girlcat (32)
Monday April 23, 2012, 7:48 pm
Honda. seems to be a great company. They are environmentally responsible and they manufacture such cute little cars. It's a win-win situation!

Shan D (49)
Tuesday April 24, 2012, 1:13 pm
This is excellent.

Justina Gil (0)
Tuesday April 24, 2012, 3:47 pm
This makes me happy (:

Talya H (10)
Tuesday April 24, 2012, 6:32 pm
Interesting! Thanks!
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