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Objectives

The main objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To construct at a competitive scale a recycling line for neodymium-iron-boron (NIB) magnets from different electronic wastes, which will enable the recovery of those magnets for their further use in the same or other applications.
  • To introduce into the market an innovative recycling line which will recover the NIB magnets from different electronic wastes disposed in the north of Spain, processing an amount of 80 tonnes of NIB powder per year.
  • To reduce European dependence on Chinese rare earths according to the European Communication on 2nd February of 2011 (currently China supplies 97% of global rare earth metal demand) counting with their own supply of recycled or secondary rare earths materials.
  • To contribute to the European Directive 2012/19/UE in terms of reducing environmental wastes by recycling electronic devices (now more than 85% of electronic wastes are directly landfilled, burnt or deserted) and to gain competences and knowledge regarding RE recycling and processing (steps which currently are only developed in China).
  • Re-use of NIB magnets as high-added-value products for diverse applications achieving a final market share of 10% within 9 years after project’s end (currently the 75% of the total NIB magnets are made in China, 17% in Japan and only about 3% in Europe).
  • To contribute to find a practical solution to an important global issue like electric and electronic waste problem. In fact, consequences of the present project will reach several points including quality of life, employment, education, etc. The quality of life will be enhanced due to a decrease in waste landfill disposal and raw material consumption, helping to preserve natural ecosystems. Also air pollution will be diminished through decrease in wastes incineration. Furthermore, development of suitable recycling technologies will lighten the problem of disposal of waste as well as enable new applications for the recovered material.

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