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.