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Recycled Battery Metals Being Tested for Use as Crop Fertilizer

  • Lithium Australia has begun trialing zinc, manganese on wheat
  • Large-scale tests to be carried out later in year: MD Griffin
Inside The Raw Materials Co. Facility As Battery Recycling Rates Climb
Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

It might seem an unusual ingredient for plant fertilizer, but metal dust from spent household batteries are being tested as potential crop nutrient supplements by an Australian recycler and supplier of battery materials.

After collecting recycled everyday alkaline batteries from local pick-up points around the country and then shredding them, Lithium Australia NL, conducted short-term trials by testing the dust -- containing valuable trace element nutrients such as zinc and manganese -- on pots of wheat in glasshouses.