Rare earth materials - recycled in new European research project

5 May, 2013 - 21:54

Several rare earth materials are critical components in modern electronics. The possible future restrictions to the supply of critical materials have been the subject of debate for several years. In response to these an international consortium has been brought together to develop new solutions to the European requirement for rare earth metals. Acreo Swedish ICT is one of the partners.

REMANENCE is the name of the ambitious program designed 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.

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 a consortium including; 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.

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