MagReesource’s hydrogen-based magnet recycling aims to reduce dependency on China

EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub West interviewed CEO and co-founder of MagReesource, Erick Petit, at their recent Partner Day in Leuven, Brussels. He explained how their hydrogen-based magnet recycling process will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of the green energy industry, and to securing a European strategic autonomy for rare earth magnets. MagReesource is supported by EIT RawMaterials and is a member of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).

How does your business, the manufacturing of rare-earth magnets from recycled material, contribute to the transition to cleaner energy technologies and digital transitions?

Our European Energy Transition customers are demanding customised magnets, for inventing the electric machines of tomorrow to fit with the need for strategic autonomy, and to comply with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). Our business model “magnet-to-magnet” meets our customers’ requirements by recovering end-of-life magnets with hydrogen, and then remanufacturing new magnets with the recycled material. In this way, we are contributing to the clean energy and digital transition, as high-performance magnets are essential for electronics and communication devices, wind turbines, robotics, electric vehicles (EVs), as well as aerospace and defence applications.

How does the European economy and society benefit from your solution?

Our hydrogen-based process is sustainable, does not use chemicals, does not pollute and is very cost efficient. Our short loop recycling is the only way, short term, to compensate for the lack of mines in Europe, and build up the necessary manufacturing bricks in a viable way. Today, 85% of the magnets for the European market are produced in China, with Rare Earth ores mined under sub-standard environmental and social conditions.

Our process has proven to reduce 91% CO2 emissions compared to magnets produced in China. MagReesource will help reduce the dependency on rare earth supply from China and strengthen European energy autonomy. Our mission is firmly aligned with the missions of EIT RawMaterials and ERMA – to diversify supply of raw materials for a greener, sustainable, and more resilient Europe.

Erick Petit, CEO and Co-founder of MagReesource

You are a young company founded only two years ago as a spin-off from CNRS Grenoble. Tell us more about your mission and objectives.

The company’s vision is based on three pillars: Sovereignty, Sustainability, and Technology. Our mission is clear – thanks to our patented recycling process, and our innovation in new magnet manufacturing technologies, we want to establish a sustainable manufacturing base of the European rare earth industry that will ultimately prime a downstream market of €400 billion and 6 million jobs in the EU27 mobility and automotive industries alone.

How did ERMA and EIT RawMaterials benefit your business?

Thanks to EIT RawMaterials Booster support, we have validated a key technology of our process to be ready for upscaling. ERMA, managed by EIT RawMaterials, facilitates access to finance for our magnet manufacturing and recycling Gigafactory in France.

Being part of the EIT RawMaterials community has provided us with access to their pan-European network, building valuable connections to strategic stakeholders, clients, and potential investors.

Erick Petit, CEO and Co-founder of MagReesource

Learn more about MagREEsource