July 21, 2020
The transition to electric vehicles and renewable sources of electricity, now gaining serious momentum, is largely about dispensing with fossil fuels. But in order to end our reliance on those substances, we need a growing supply of other materials—things like lithium and rare earth elements. Unlike fossil fuels, however, these materials need not be consumed when we put them to use. In principle, devices can be recycled at end of life to return these precious materials to a closed loop that could eventually minimize the need for mining.