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Engineered bacteria could recycle critical minerals from EV batteries

The minerals in EV batteries - primarily lithium, cobalt and nickel - are worth on average between 1,000 euros (£870) to 2,000 euros per car. Such materials could be in short supply within a few years as automakers boost EV production. So it is always nice to see countries supporting innovation in battery recycling. 

The United States recently announced a bill called the Inflation Reduction Act that qualifies EV battery materials recycled in the U.S. as American-made for subsidies. The Indian government has come out with new extended producer responsibility (EPR) norms for Li-ion batteries, wherein every producer or seller of products that contain lithium-ion batteries has to ensure that they are taken back at the end of their life and recycled scientifically. China, of course, has been the most dominant force in this field - handling virtually all EV battery recycling in the global market. 

I wish the researchers at the University of Edinburgh and all of their sponsors and supporters the very best and hope that their hard work springboards the UK's EV revolution. 

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), battery EVs accounted for 16.1% of total new cars between January and June 2023, making the UK one of the top 10 European countries for EV sales. As the market grows, so does the need for initiatives that can support the increasing supply chain pressures and deal with waste batteries as they come to the end of their useful lifetime.


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