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Hybrid battery recycling: Honda’s ‘first step’

Japan – Japanese automotive giant Honda is preparing to deliver what it proclaims as the world’€™s first mass production line for large-scale extraction of rare earth metals from hybrid batteries.

Joining forces with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., the major car manufacturer has developed a new process to recover these metals from the nickel-metal of their hybrid vehicles at a claimed recovery rate of at least 80%.

The batteries are to be collected at Honda establishments across the globe and all extracted metals will be reused in new nickel-metal hydride batteries and various other Honda products where possible.

According to Honda, this initiative marks the ‘€˜first step’€™ in commercialising the technology, as the company has plans to expand its rare earth metal operations further in the near future to ensure the issue does not remain one dictated by a ‘€˜small-scale extraction process in controlled and experimental conditions’€™.

In previous years, the company had been applying a heat treatment to used nickel-metal hydride batteries and recycling nickel-containing scrap.

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