|Listing of Rare Earth Elements|
Batteries are unclean. They contain all sorts of toxic chemicals and metals. For example, a Tesla, uses huge lithium ion batteries that weigh thousands of pounds. These batteries are dirty to make and when their life is over, about 5 years or so, they must be disposed of into a toxic waste dump. Not very green. In fact, these batteries negate any reduction in greenhouse gas admissions and wind-up having a larger pollution factor than fossil fuel operated vehicles.
There is reclamation occurring, as waste companies around the world, sort through piles of lithium-ion batteries from cars to laptops. Termed "urban mining", this reclamation is increasing as the hunt for cobalt, lithium, and rare earth metals needed to produce batteries is causing a global shortage of these key elements.
For example, electronic waste reclamation was valued at $18.8b in South Korea in 2016 , meeting roughly 22% of S. Korea's total rare earth metals demand. These reclaimed metals are now part of the supply chain for two of the world's major battery makers, Samsung and LG. Spent lithium-ion batteries and electronic components are recycled to extract lithium phosphate, cobalt, nickel, gold, and other metals.
|Electric cars use thousands of pounds of lithium-ion batteries|
There is a lot of research going on to come up with a substitute for lithium-ion batteries but so far nothing that can be commercialized. Within the next decade a replacement must occur: first, because of the negative impact on the environment and secondly, because they are not called rare earth elements for nothing.
Jim Lavorato, Principal
Fund-House Ventures, LLC