Recycled batteries provide cobalt without mining

Fortunately, smart entrepreneurs are seeing the huge efficiency and opportunity in recycling over new production.  Scientists working for American Manganese Inc., located in the suburbs of Vancouver, are patenting a way to produce enough cobalt to power all the electric cars on the road today without drilling into the ground: by recycling faulty batteries.  See:  Mining cobalt without going to the congo:

It’s one of many technologies that entrepreneurs are patenting to prepare for a time when electric cars outnumber polluting petrol engines, turning the entire automotive supply chain upside down in the process. Instead of radiators, spark plugs and fuel injectors, the industry will need cheap sources of cobalt, copper and lithium.

“Mining batteries is much more profitable than mining the ground,” said Larry Reaugh, the president of American Manganese, which is patenting a method to draw out all of the metals in rechargeable batteries. “Rather than mining ore that’s 2 percent cobalt, you’re mining a battery that has 100 percent cobalt in it.”

British tech startups Aceleron and Powervault Ltd. are …transforming dead car batteries into packs that can be used in homes to store renewable energy derived from rooftop solar panels.

“We are not worried about these winding up in landfills,” said Louis Shaffer, renewable energy segment manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Eaton Industries Manufacturing GmbH, which makes batteries. “Today, there aren’t a lot of big recycling centers set up. But like other batteries, once there’s enough out there, it will be a very good business to be in.”

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