ReElement partners with EDP Renewables for wind turbine Rare Earth magnet recycling

March 13, 2024

ReElement has partnered with EDP Renewables North America for efficient and sustainable recycling of neodymium-based permanent magnets from decommissioned wind turbines (Courtesy EDP Renewables)
ReElement has partnered with EDP Renewables North America for efficient and sustainable recycling of neodymium-based permanent magnets from decommissioned wind turbines (Courtesy EDP Renewables)

American Resources Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary ReElement Technologies Corporation, based in Fishers, Indiana, USA, has partnered with EDP Renewables North America, Houston, Texas, in an effort to advance sustainable practices in the wind energy sector through the EDPR NA’s newly launched Close the Loop programme.

The focus of the collaboration will be efficient and sustainable recycling of neodymium-based permanent magnets from decommissioned wind turbines into magnet-grade rare earth elements, thereby contributing to the development of a truly circular supply chain for renewable energy equipment and inputs.

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As the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer and a top five owner and operator of renewables in North America, the partnership is intended to leverage EDPR NA’s experience in wind energy and ReElement’s advanced critical mineral refining technology for rare earth and critical battery elements.

Neodymium-based permanent magnets, commonly used in clean energy applications such as wind turbines and electric vehicle motors, to enhance efficiency, are critical components of the renewable energy landscape. By recycling these magnets, EDPR NA and ReElement aim to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production and disposal of wind turbine components as well as the primary extraction and common processing methods utilised today in the production of critical and rare earth mineral inputs.

“We are thrilled to partner with EDPR to address the environmental challenges associated with neodymium-based permanent magnets,” stated Chris Moorman, Chief Commercial Officer of ReElement Technologies. “ReElement’s critical mineral refining process is a game-changer, providing a sustainable solution for recovering and refining a broad range of critical minerals. Our flexibility to refine multiple feedstocks utilising a smaller, scalable and significantly more environmentally safe method enables us to provide valuable solutions to the supply chain challenges we face today. Our approach not only facilitates the recycling of wind turbine components but also significantly reduces the environmental footprint.

“We applaud EDPR NA and are thankful to have this collaborative opportunity to lead the world in delivering real solutions. The next generation of the electrified economy relies on responsible practices, and through this partnership, we are collectively setting a new standard for sustainability in the renewable energy sector,” he concluded.

EDPR NA and ReElement anticipate that this collaboration will set a precedent for responsible and sustainable practices in the renewable energy sector and beyond, fostering a circular economy that extends the life cycle of the critical and rare earth elements required today to fuel our technology. ReElement’s proprietary process for critical mineral recovery and refining stands out for its high performance, efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Unlike traditional mining and processing methods — mostly utilised in China — ReElement’s process of recycling permanent magnets is reported to be approximately 3X more environmentally safe, aligning with the commitment to sustainable practices in the renewable energy industry. As the company executes and scales the production at its facilities, it hopes to significantly reduce the United States’ and its economic partner’s dependency on foreign nations for the supply of these critical raw materials while also creating a circular life-cycle solution.

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