Honda Motor Co., Ltd is commencing the large-scale recycling of rare earth metals from used parts in its products. In collaboration with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., Ltd, Honda announced the establishment of a pioneering process on an industrial mass-production process.

The recycling plant proposed will not be made for experimental trials, as Honda further disclosed. In this venture, precious resources will be recovered for reuse. This is thanks to the collaboration between Honda and JPC, leading to the use of special chemicals to achieve a state-of-the-art rare earth metals’ extraction technology.

Before the end of April 2012, Honda Motor Co. and Japan Metals & Chemicals will begin processing old nickel-metal hydride batteries. These used batteries will be obtained from used Honda hybrid vehicles stocked by their dealers not only in Japan, but also internationally.

The newly established process is capable of extracting more than 80% of the rare metals in used nickel-metal hydride batteries with purity as high as newly mined and refined ones. Honda is projecting to expand its extraction of rare earth metals to a wider range of its products, and not only from used nickel-metal hydride batteries. The scope of the actual metals to be extracted is also to be widened.

It’s a long time since Honda started to commit itself to the conservation of the environment by adapting the “reduce, reuse, recycle,” (aka 3R) approach. In the past, many of its used products have been subjected to recycling. As an example, Honda Motor Co. Ltd was the first Japanese vehicle manufacturer to venture into the sale of recycled parts, and to also collect and recycle oil filters, replaced bumpers, among other parts.

From its existing market strength, Honda is planning to advance and empower its networks for an efficient reuse and recycling of its resources.

[via honda]

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