The Dusenfeld battery recycling facility in Wendeburg, Germany, is a small private company at the forefront of recycling electric car batteries. These batteries are hard to work with: they are bulky, weight hundreds of kilograms, and must be handled with great care. Damaging them can result in dangerous fires. But they are treasure troves of materials; one mid-range electric car can contain 6 kilograms of lithium, 10 of manganese, 11 of cobalt, 32 of nickel, and 50 of graphite. These raw materials are not only finite, but their extraction comes at an incredible human and environmental cost. With the climate emergency depending on a transition to electric vehicles, they are materials the world simply cannot afford to waste. Dusenfeld employees are currently able to recover 90% of the raw materials in each battery and aim to improve on that number.

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