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EV batteries: Cheaper way to recycle material developed in Japan

Sumitomo Metal's method promises more reliable supply of cobalt, lithium and copper

Recycled cobalt sulfate, seen here at an urban mining plant in South Korea, is used in storage batteries.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Metal Mining will start recycling cobalt, lithium and other key materials from used electric vehicle batteries, employing a cost-competitive proprietary process to extract high-grade metals.

These materials are used in cathodes of lithium-ion batteries, the most common type of battery in electric vehicles, and global demand for them is only expected to grow. Sumitomo Metal's breakthrough could bolster Japan's domestic supply of these materials, benefiting the country's EV battery makers.

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