Rare earth magnets to be recycled in new EU research project

May 7, 2013

In response to the supply restrictions of rare earth metals, critical in many modern electronics, an international consortium has been brought together to identify new solutions to help with the demand from European industry.

One of the consortiums aims is to dramatically increase the amount of rare earth materials recovered and remanufactured from existing waste streams. The project brings together European industry and academia across the supply chain to develop the innovative technologies, business models and market information required to exploit this valuable resource reducing dependence on primary sources.

The partners will develop new and innovative processes for the recovery and recycling of neodymium iron boron magnets (NdFeB) from a range of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE). Advanced sensing and mechanical separation techniques will be developed in combination with innovative processes to recover the rare earth magnets in the WEEE.

Significantly, the aim will be to recover material in a form that can easily re-enter the primary magnet manufacturing production route, so providing large energy savings and reduced production costs for European manufacturers.

The project, named “Remanence”, brings together Europe’s leading experts in sensing, disassembly, recycling technology and materials processing in a multi-disciplinary project able to deliver significant technical advances. C-Tech Innovation Ltd will lead the consortium, which also includes The University of Birmingham, Stena Technoworld AB, ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Leitat Technological Centre, OptiSort AB, Chalmers Industriteknik,  Magneti Ljubljana and Kolektor Magnet Technology GmbH.

Remanence is funded by FP7, the Seventh European Framework Programme for research and technological development, and is expected to run until mid 2016.

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