Project duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2022

Objective

The innovation supported by VALOMAG concerns a technology enabling to dismantle EoL applications, for the extraction of permanent magnets and their recycling in short loop processes based on the direct reuse of hard ferromagnetic alloys for bonded magnets and sintered magnets manufacturing. VALOMAG project answers the need of the waste management sector to treat waste with magnets as no solution exists currently due to technological problems.

The solution (technology)

Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) based permanent magnets are indispensable for today’s technology-driven society, and this dependence is likely to increase. They are used in a variety of applications such as robotic systems and home appliances; they are also essential for clean energy applications such as hybrid/electric vehicles and wind turbines. As REE such as Nd and Dy have a substantial risk and a high commercial value, the recycling of EoL products as NeFeB magnets is a promising route to alleviate the supply risk. Moreover, Life Cycle Assessment studies (LCAs) have already been performed for NdFeB magnets produced from virgin raw materials and for magnets produced using a magnet-to-magnet recycling process. The results show that the recycling process has significantly less environmental impact than production from raw materials with about 31% to 55% compared to the virgin magnet production. The VALOMAG project proposes to supply a technical solution for permanent magnet disassembly of EOL applications like hard disc, electric vehicles and wind turbine and to assess two short loop recycling technologies (HD/HDDR and stripcasting) for high and medium quality magnets with a third alternative route using hydrometallurgical processes for low quality magnets.  The project combines different key players who bring together their expertise to develop a new value proposal which answers the need of the permanent magnets market.

Partnership

  • SUEZ Groupe SAS (Lead Partner), France
  • The French Geological Survey, France
  • Centre de Recherches Métallurgiques asbl (CRM Group), Belgium
  • French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France
  • Kolektor Group Vodenje in upravljanje druzb d.o.o., Slovenia
  • Leiden University, Netherlands
  • Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Learn more about VALOMAG on the project’s website.