Project: Circular economy, magnet recycling, NdFeB magnets, end-of-life magnets, Eco-labelling

Acronym MaXycle (Reference Number: ERA-MIN-2017_142)
Duration 01/05/2018 - 30/04/2021
Project Topic Even though the alloying constituents of rare-earth (RE) based magnets have been classified as Critical Raw Materials in the EU and 90% of it is produced outside of the EU, there is still no developed recycling or circular economy for these types of materials. With the prediction that the consumption of RE magnets will double in the next 10 years, this problem becomes even more critical. Today's only way to recover end of life (EOL) magnets from waste of electric and electronic equipment is by shredding and recycling by chemicals and pyrometallurgical routes, which is expensive and energy intensive, and the quality of the recollected magnets varies significantly. The objective of MaXycle is to create a much more environmentally friendly ‘short cycle’ re-processing route achieved by: a) the development of an eco-labelling system for newly produced RE permanent, b) using the highly effective HPMS process by re-processing the extracted materials directly from the NdFeB alloy, c) better treatments to eliminate pre-processing residue, d) upgrading the magnetic properties of EOL NdFeB magnets by tailoring the microstructure and phase composition and e) elaborating the industrial up-scalability, including a thorough life cycle assessment. MaXycle will have a great impact to overcome the issue of low recycling rates suffering from poor collection, high leakages of collected materials and inappropriate interface management between logistics, and mechanical pre-processing and metallurgical metals recovery. It is estimated that MaXycle will increase the recycling quantities of NdFeB by 90%, intorducing a sustainable source of raw materials and increasing EU magnet production without recourse to foreign suppliers, further increasing revenues and creating jobs. Further development of recycled RE-based magnet raw materials should open up new markets for specialised recycled magnet products, strengthening competiveness and economic growth.
Network ERA-MIN 2
Call ERA-MIN Joint Call 2017

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Jozef Stefan Institute Coordinator Slovenia
2 Magneti Ljubljana, d.d. Partner Slovenia
3 OBE Ohnmacht & Baumgärtner GmbH & Co. KG Partner Germany
4 Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences Partner Germany
5 IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute Partner Sweden