What does the VALOMAG project contribute to the challenge?

The VALOMAG project proposes to develop a technical solution for permanent magnet disassembly of EoL products such as hard disc drives, electric vehicles and wind turbines. The project assesses two short loop recycling technologies (HD/HDDR and Strip Casting) 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.

Disassembly of permanent magnets

The solution proposed for the dismantling of PMs from EoL electric applications is based on physical treatment techniques developed for computer hard disk drive dismantling. The first step is a total dismantling of the End-of-Life products based on the preparation of the material by heat treatment, which must lead to the degaussing of permanent magnets without degradation of the other components of the End-of-Life product.

Short loop recycling technologies

VALOMAG assesses two short loop recycling technologies for high and medium quality magnets. The first technology is the hydrogen decrepitation (HD) or hydrogen-disproportionation decomposition-recombination (HDDR) to obtain powders to be furthermore used to produce magnets. The second technology is the sintering technology, which will consist of melting the magnets and using the alloys thus obtained to manufacture powders and new sintered magnets by the conventional powder metallurgy route.

Hydrometallurgical processes

VALOMAG assesses with a third alternative technology using hydrometallurgical processes for low quality magnets. In this technology the REE oxides are extracted and purified by chemical treatments.

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