International, USA

Your old cellphone, computer can provide lithium for car batteries

Audi is partnering with Redwood Materials, a recycling start up in Nevada, to turn old personal devices into EV batteries.

According to Redwood’s data, Americans throw out 150 million phones each year and less than 5% of devices containing lithium-ion are recycled. Historically, consumers had to pay to ship their used devices to recycling centers, resulting in the “abysmal” recycling rate, Georgeson said. (Redwood offers free shipping but does not reimburse consumers for the cost of the device.)

This program should reduce demand for mining new materials and also help car manufacturers meet Inflation Reduction Act requirements for incentives.

According to Redwood, they can recover 95 percent of the useful materials, including nickel, cobalt, and graphite.

Redwood also recycles “end-of-life” battery packs from automakers like Toyota, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen and Audi. Lithium, nickel and cobalt are extracted and remanufactured into cathode — a core component of an EV battery. Tesla battery supplier Panasonic has partnered with Redwood for remanufactured anode foil — which Redwood makes from scrap taken from Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

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