The French atomic and alternative energy commission (CEA) is hoping to improve the recycling of e-car batteries, solar panels and wind turbines through its nuclear know-how.
The R&D efforts are being undertaken at an existing research facility in Marcoule, AFP reports. The press was invited to tour the lab as part of a recent conference on critical metals.
The goal is to recover the materials and use them on an industrial scale, according to Richard Laucournet, head of CEA’s new materials. His team envisions recycling all components that are powering clean technologies.
‘Thanks to the simulation tools developed here, we can reprocess rare earths from magnets,’ says Laucournet. He believes such innovation is much needed as there is ‘no real magnet recycling sector yet’.
Additionally, the technology developed at Marcoule will help recycle fuels from fourth-generation nuclear reactors while also recovering valuable silicon and silver from end-of-life solar panels.