EMR partners to create a new supply chain for rare earth magnets

Image source: EMR

EMR partners to create a new supply chain for rare earth magnets

UK’s leading metals recycler EMR, the University of Birmingham’s Department of Materials and specialist magnet recycler HyProMag Ltd have announced a new partnership, partially funded by Innovate UK, to create a supply chain for recycling high-strength rare earth magnets.

The REAP (Rare-Earth Extraction from Audio Products) project will help the UK reduce its reliance on mining strategically important raw materials such as neodymium and dysprosium. The nine-month REAP project will focus on magnets found in speakers of audio equipment and vehicles. However, the project results will have a number of wider applications. This includes recycling of cars, which uses rare earth magnets in motors for power steering, compressors and, increasingly, the main drives of electric vehicles.

“The challenge for our research and development team is to keep these magnets in one place as part of a single solid unit. We need to develop clever and inexpensive ways to break down these technologies while maintaining the integrity of the material. Extraction of rare earth magnets requires the sophisticated analytical facilities and academic expertise of the University of Birmingham, as well as the recovery technology and expertise developed by HyProMag. If the team has an economically viable proof of concept, EMR will put it into practice, ”said Rob Chaddock, Strategic Development Manager at EMR.

China currently dominates the manufacture of rare earth magnets and the mining of the raw materials from which they are made. The drive motors for electric vehicles are based on rare earth magnets. The move to electric vehicles over the next 15 years means that the demand for rare earth magnets will grow enormously and continued availability is strategic for the UK. The recycling of rare earth magnets in the UK offers a potentially alternative and safe source of supply.

“These materials are sourced from areas of the world where the UK has no control over the source. In terms of resource security, we shouldn’t let the materials escape from Europe. There are also economic and environmental reasons, as the recovery of these materials from end-of-life waste is less Has carbon pollution and a lower cost than recovering it from the mining source, “added Rob Chaddock.

Nick Mann, Operations General Manager at HyProMag, added: “With the increasing demand for rare earth magnets, it is imperative that we find viable economic solutions to recover old magnets that are currently being lost The REAP project is focused on one of the greatest potential sources of these magnets, speakers. Innovative processes designed to address the challenges of extracting magnets from assemblies are an integral part of the REAP project. We We are very excited to be working with EMR and the University of Birmingham to further optimize these processes for audio products. “

Those: uk.emrgroup.com

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