Honda to extract rare earth metals from used car batteries
By Darren Quick
April 17, 2012
In response to the skyrocketing prices of rare earth metals, Honda, in partnership with the Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., Ltd., has established a world first mass-production process at a recycling plant to recycle this precious resource from Honda vehicles.
From this month, the companies will begin extracting rare earth metals from used nickel-metal hydride batteries collected at Honda dealers in Japan and other countries from Honda hybrid vehicles, such as the CR-Z hybrid and Insight hybrid.
The newly established process, which Honda points out is not experimental but an actual mass-production process, can extract as much as 80% of rare earth metals contained in used nickel-metal hydride batteries with purity levels as high as newly mined and refined metals.
Honda says it plans to reuse the extracted rare earth metals in a wide range of Honda products and not just in new nickel-metal hydride batteries.
The new process can also be used to extract rare earth metals from a variety of used parts, and Honda has plans to expand the extraction process of this increasingly precious resource to include parts other than nickel-metal hydride batteries.