Honda to recycle rare earth metals, first time in history

At the end of the month, Honda will start to recycle rare earth metals from various used parts of Honda products.

Honda made an announcement this week of a recycling breakthrough where they will start recycling rare earth metals from the nickel-metal hydride batteries for its used hybrid cars on a mass-production basis, Honda informs.

Honda says this new process is more is the world-first  to extract rare earth metals form various used parts in Honda products will start at the end of this month, and allows for the recovery of more than 80 percent of the rare-earth metals used in the nickel-metal hybrid batteries.

The process involves extractions coming from used batteries from Honda hybrids at Honda dealers inside and outside Japan.

The technology is a result of the company’s collaboration with Japan Metals & Chemicals (JMC), a company based in Tokyo. The announcement carries a simple diagram of the recycling flow between dealers and factory, but with a few details about how the process actually works.

Economists saw no mystery in what the Honda move means in the marketplace. According to reactors from SmallCap Network, the high market prices of rare metals suggest "the company could have got it right in terms of economics.

China produces about 95 percent of the world's rare earth supplies. With its monopoly on production, China notes its concerns about the environment and resources and issued export controls that sent the prices rising. For Honda, the goal was to specifically look to recycling to meet its rare earth metal needs and say that the initiative won’t stop at batteries either. They intend to grow out a list of components from which the metals can be recycled.

Honda refers to 17 rare earth metals that are mostly shunted off to a tacked-on lined of the periodic table that yet are crucial to modern lifestyles and used in numerous applications for industrial, high tech and commercial products.


Photo courtesy: Honda

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