PARIS – Honda Motor Co. Ltd says it's capable of reusing rare earth metals extracted from nickel-metal hybrid batteries for reimplementation into hybrid vehicles.
Under a newly-defined process, Honda said it can extract over 80 percent of rare earth metals from used batteries at better than 99 percent purity, which is the same as traded from the mines after refining.
Honda has been extracting an oxide containing rare earth metals from used nickel-metal hydrid batteries at the plant of Japan Metals & Chemicals Co. Ltd. Honda said it has applied molten salt electrolysis to this oxide and managed to extract metalized rare earth that can be used directly as negative-electrode materials for nickel-metal hybrid batteries.
Honda's process for recycling nickel-metal hydrid batteries Click on image to enlarge
Honda noted that it will start delivering the extracted rare earth metals to a battery manufacturer early March. In this case, the rare earth metals have been extracted from nickel-metal hydrid batteries collected from 386 Honda hybrid vehicles that were stored prior to being on sale but became unusable by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Honda said it expects to recycle rare earth metals extracted from used nickel-metal hybrid batteries collected by Honda dealers through battery replacement.
Earlier this year, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that starting this April it will sell an electricity management system that uses recycled nickel-metal hydrid batteries from hybrid vehicles to Toyota vehicle dealers throughout Japan.