Securing sustainable access to Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) is probably the most serious challenge facing the European materials sector and in its most up-to-date assessment of material criticality, the European Commission again put the rare earth elements (REEs) at the very top of the list. REEs are not exotic materials: Permanent magnets based on REEs are central to a clean-energy future and are required to maintain our current standard of living. Whether in wind turbines or electric vehicles and a multitude of domestic appliances (e.g. smartphones, headphones, micro-mechanical devices etc.) - permanent magnets are important, irreplaceable components. The EU imports almost 100% of its REEs, while the rate of recycling is less than 1%. This absolute import dependency requires further advancement on REE materials and processes. Since Europe lacks any major REE deposits that can be exploited, the primary objective of the REProMag project was the development of an innovative manufacturing route for sustainable recycling from secondary (end-of-life) sources in the EU. The new SDS process (Shaping, Debinding and Sintering) will allow a new level of sustainability in production of magnets, as the energy efficiency along the whole manufacturing chain is increased by >30% and the material charge of RE-materials is reduced by 30-40% compared to conventional production routes. Thus, REProMag offers a new manufacturing process for the Resource Efficient Production of Magnets, closing the gap between technology and market.
Eine Publikation der Steinbeis 2i GmbH.