A recent meeting of the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) has confirmed that HyProMag Ltd, with its rare earth magnet recycling technology developed by the University of Birmingham’s Magnetic Materials Group, has been selected as one of the projects that will help to develop responsible critical mineral supply chains.
Established in 2022, the MSP is a collaboration of thirteen countries including Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Sweden, UK, US, and the European Union. The aim is to ensure adequate supplies of minerals, such as rare earths, to meet net zero-carbon goals. Its mission is to facilitate both public and private sector investments in creating diverse, secure, and responsible global supply chains for these critical minerals.
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HyProMag, based in Birmingham, UK, was one of seventeen projects selected at the recent Principals’ meeting at the London Metals Exchange. HyProMag is commercialising the recycling of rare earth magnets using Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS) technology. This patented process recycles magnets from end-of-life scrap.
“This is an extremely exciting development and shows how research from the University can have an impact on the global stage. Rare earth magnets play a crucial role in a huge variety of technologies, many of which are used in clean energy applications such as wind turbines and electric vehicles. However, the recycling rates for these materials are very low,” shared Professor Allan Walton, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials.
“This is primarily because rare earth magnets are difficult to separate from components as they are glued, coated and break up to a magnetised powder on shredding which then sticks to the ferrous scrap,” Walton explained. “Our Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS) technology offers an extremely efficient method to separate rare earth magnets, producing a demagnetised, purified alloy powder which can be fed into multiple parts of the value chain. Without such an efficient separation process it is difficult to see how recycling can be achieved at scale.”