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This new tech mines old batteries to find critical ingredients for electric vehicles

April 8, 2021 - By Adele Peters

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Recycling batteries is time-consuming and involves dangerous chemicals. This new process could make it easier—and reduce the amount of mining required to fuel the clean energy economy.

As the number of electric cars quickly grows—helped by policies like the $174 billion that the Biden administration wants to pour into a national network of chargers and consumer incentives for buying EVs—one challenge will be finding the materials to make the batteries the cars use. Cobalt, one key component, comes mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the supply chain could easily be disrupted and where mining is fraught with environmental and social problems like child labor.

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