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Metal Recycling News January 19, 2021 05:10:05 PM

New Research Project to Boost Extraction of Rare Earth Metals From Magnets

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Also, the demand for praseodymium is projected to be almost three times higher in the next decade.

New Research Project to Boost Extraction of  Rare Earth Metals From Magnets

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):  Norwegian research and development (R&D) firm Sintef’s multi-million research project aims to boost recycling of magnets to recover valuable rare earths.

The demand for rare earths in e-mobility sector is expected to surge higher significantly over the coming years. Modern automobiles consist of a large number of small magnets that power various sensors and car parts. In addition to auto sector, consumer electronics too are major drivers of rare earths demand. For instance, the demand for dysprosium is likely to triple from current levels by 2030. Also, the demand for praseodymium is projected to be almost three times higher in the next decade.

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According to Ana Maria Martinez, Sintef, the primary sources of rare earth scrap are air conditioners, e-bike batteries and e-car batteries. The rare-earth scrap from air conditioners is likely to touch almost 11,000 tonnes by 2040. Meanwhile, e-bike batteries and e-car batteries are likely to generate approximately 10,000 tonnes and 9,000 tonnes respectively of rare earth scrap by end-2040.

The breakthrough R&D project, funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, uses an integrated high temperature electrolysis and ion liquid extraction process. 

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