Evonik of Germany reports working on recovering lithium from recycled batteries.
Also working on nitrogen fixing bacteria for wheat and corn. This could greatly reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizer. They are not the only ones involved. Corteva and Syngenta both have programs.
Soybeans have bacteria on their roots that absorb nitrogen from the air and make it available to the soybean plant. As a result their nitrogen fertilizer requirement is reduced.
Nitrogen fixing bacteria (or fungi?) to fix nitrogen for other plants have been a research topic for decades. Only recently have people begun to talk about it. We still don’t know how effective it will be but as fertilizer is a major cost, natural solutions to the problem are attractive.