Goal: Rare Earth Recycling For Loudspeakers

Canada-based Mkango Resources Ltd. informed that HyProMag Limited and partners, European Metal Recycling Limited (EMR) and University of Birmingham, have been awarded a grant (256,144 British Pound) from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – delivered by UK Research and Innovation – for a new project entitled “Rare-Earth Extraction from Audio Products” (REAP).

The project “will investigate ways of recycling rare earth magnets from speakers used in automotive and consumer electronics applications, which account for approximately 20 percent of the current market for rare earth magnets, according to Adamas Intelligence,” Mkango Resources informed. Therefore, the loudspeakers would represent a significant opportunity for rare earth magnet recycling. As reported, Mkango’s subsidiary, Maginito Limited, holds a 25 percent equity interest in HyProMag, with an option to increase its interest up to 49 percent.

Fundamental to REAP is a patented process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment named HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap), originally developed within the Magnetic Materials Group at the University of Birmingham and subsequently licenced to HyProMag.

The other project partner, EMR, is a global leader in metal recycling, operating at 150 locations around the world. It will pre-process automotive and flat screen TV loudspeaker scrap to provide a feed of scrap components containing NdFeB magnets to HyProMag. That company will use the HPMS process in conjunction with the University of Birmingham to extract the magnets as a demagnetised alloy powder, which can be used in the remanufacture of magnets.

“The short loop recycling processes which are being developed by HyProMag will have a significant environmental benefit compared to primary production of magnets,” Mkango Resources emphasized.



(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 2/2021, Page 17, Photo: Chris Sansbury / pixabay.com)