The rare earths are natural elements identified in the list of 30 Critical Raw Materials (CRM). These CRMs have been selected at European level for their economic importance associated to a high risk of supply because mined outside the boarders of Europe. The ecological transition and the recent geopolitical events push EU towards electrifications, digitalization and use of renewable energy. Ensuring the security of supply of the rare earths is pivotal because fundamental elements for different strategic products such as photovoltaic panels, batteries and electric motors.
In this framework, the EIT Raw Materials has funded NEW-RE (2022-2024) with the objective to increase the recycling of rare earths, among which Neodimium, contributing to the improvement of the entire recycling chain.
In NEW-RE project partners aim to increment the collection of sources of rare earths (permanent magnets), enhancing the pre-treatment phase and obtaining, at the end, the secondary rare earths. This objective will be pursued throughout the setting-up of a pilot plant for a hydrometallurgical process that will treat permanent magnets from end-of-life electrical motors and hard disks. At the same time, a process for the automated extraction of permanent magnets from WEEE and end-of-life electric motors will be developed.
ERION, as the coordinator of the consortium, will oversee the activities to guarantee the success of the project. In addition, ERION will take care of the communication and dissemination of project results towards its stakeholders.
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