Many raw materials for industrial applications, such as certain metals and rare earth elements, are growing scarcer or more expensive. Efficient recycling methods could provide a solution.
A research center in Saxony is exploring new recycling technologies. The researchers have developed a machine to separate the components of devices like laptops and mobile phones, and a chemical method for isolating lithium from old storage batteries. Their latest project involves collecting dust from the street to see if the platinum, copper and zinc it contains can be recovered.
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