Giving Compass' Take:

• Scientists have found a new way to recycle batteries so that they do not end up in landfills, and contribute to a broader comprehensive recycling strategy. 

• How has the battle against plastics spurred more activism, research, and growth in recycling industries?

• Read about how better battery recycling can cut electric car emissions. 

Scientists have come up with a way to deal with the glut of used lithium-ion batteries that old electric vehicles, cellphones, and other electronic devices leave behind.

Pulickel Ajayan, professor of engineering and of chemistry at Rice University, used an environmentally friendly deep eutectic solvent to extract valuable elements from the metal oxides commonly used as cathodes in lithium-ion batteries.

The goal, researchers say, is to curtail the use of harsh processes to recycle batteries and keep them out of landfills.

The solvent, made of commodity products choline chloride and ethylene glycol, extracted more than 90 percent of cobalt from powdered compounds, and a smaller but still significant amount from used batteries.

“It’s important to recover strategic metals like cobalt that are limited in supply and are critical for the performance of these energy-storage devices,” he says. “Something to learn from our present situation with plastics is that it is the right time to have a comprehensive strategy for recycling the growing volume of battery waste.”

Read the full article about recyclable batteries by Mike Williams at Futurity