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. Neodynium (Nd) and dysprosyium (Dy) are used at more than 85% in the permanent magnets industry.
The European Commission considers Rare Earth Elements (REEs) as the most critical raw materials group, with the highest supply risk. Neodymium and dysprosium are two of the five most critical REEs. Moreover, it is anticipated that over the next 25 years the demand for neodymium and dysprosium will rise by 700% and 2600% respectively due especially to the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles and wind turbines.
Up to 2018 less than 1% of the REEs were actually recycled. This is mainly due to inefficient collection, technological problems and especially a lack of industries that could support the recycling process. A drastic improvement in the recycling of REEs is therefore an absolute necessity. This can only be realized by developing efficient, fully integrated recycling routes, which can take advantage of the rich REE recycling literature. For this the VALOMAG project was set up by 7 partners in January 2020. Learn more on this website on what VALOMAG has to offer.