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Sustainable Recovery, Reprocessing and Reuse of Rare-Earth Magnets in a Circular Economy (SUSMAGPRO)

Project description

New technologies for recycling neodymium magnets

Rare-earth magnets (neodymium-iron-boron magnets), the strongest type of permanent magnets available, are widely used in manufacturing modern technology products. They are applied in electronics, wind turbines, electric car motors and others. Unfortunately, most neodymium magnets available on the EU market come from third countries. The EU-funded SUSMAGPRO project aims to develop a pilot supply chain from recycled neodymium magnets in Europe. With the support of a multinational team and new technologies developed under the FP7 Remanence project, the product will be tested. These novel hydrogen technologies will be used in the separation and purification process. Remanufacturing will then take place to achieve different forms of magnets and the potential of the new method will be evaluated.


The aim of this project is to develop a recycling supply chain for rare earth magnets in the EU and to demonstrate these new materials on a pilot scale within a range of application sectors.

Rare earth magnets based upon neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB, also containing dysprosium) are used in a wide range of products, including for example clean energy technologies (wind turbines and electric vehicles) and high tech sectors such as electronics. However in recent years the supply of these materials has come under considerable pressure and neodymium and dysprosium are now deemed to be of greatest supply risk for all elements.

The EU imports far more NdFeB magnets than it manufactures (>1,000 tonnes manufactured per annum). It has been estimated that ~ 2,000-3,000 tonnes/annum of NdFeB will be available by 2020 for recycling, which presents a significant opportunity. The aim of this project is to identify, separate, recycle and demonstrate recycled magnets at a pilot scale with a multidisciplinary team located across the EU. The project will target three of the main application sectors including automotive, electronics and wind turbines.

The project will develop new sensing and robotic sorting lines for the identified EoL products, building upon technologies developed in the FP7 project Remanence. New hydrogen based technologies will be demonstrated at scale for separating and purifying NdFeB powders from the robotically sorted parts and this technology will be duplicated at another partner in the project. The separated powders will be re-manufactured into sintered magnets, injection moulded magnets, metal injection moulded magnets and cast alloys, at 4 different companies across 3 countries, building upon work in the Repromag Horizon 2020 project. A techno economic assessment will be performed for each potential recycling route alongside a life cycle assessment to assess the environmental benefits over primary production.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 2 183 284,05
75175 Pforzheim

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Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe Pforzheim, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 183 284,05

Participants (22)