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Low Metal Recycling Rate Can Stall Hybrid and EV Productions

June 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

The Metal Recycling Cycle

A U.N. report released early this month suggested that manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles like hybrids and full electric vehicles (EVs) might slow down at some point in the future because of the low global rate of metal recycling.

According the the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), less than 33 percent of the various metals used in auto manufacturing have more than 50 percent recycling rates. The report identified some metals with very high recycling rates worldwide. Lead, for example, has a commanding 80 percent recycling rate.

The problem is particularly acute in specialty metals used as parts for the hi-tech clean energy vehicles. The report found virtually zero recycling for such metals as neodymium, dysprosium, and lanthanum – these are rare earth metals found in most hybrid and plug-in advanced vehicles. The need for specialty metals recycling is critical considering that there is very limited supply of rare earth metals in the world and other high technology equipment and vehicles, like military aircraft, submarines, and communications equipment also use these metals.

According to Jacqueline McGlade, director of the European Environment Agency, all the emerging clean technologies and applications in batteries, hybrid cars, magnets in wind turbines, etc. use these specialty metals with dismally low recycling rates.

Note: You can sell, recycle, or donate your used cell phones to your preferred charity through Pacebutler Corporation.

via AutoBlogGreen

Tags: News · Recycling

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