But the price of cobalt has shot up since the lab first began its research, thanks to the element’s use in the flat batteries that power gadgets like iPads and iPhones.
“The iPad has completely changed the price of cobalt,” Dr. Chirik said, “so something that once was garbage is now valuable.”
iPad introduced 3 April 2010.
Cobalt price 3 April 2010 was $38,000 a tonne.
Cobalt price today, 100 ish million iPad sales later, is $26,000 a tonne.