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Heraeus Remloy’s innovative approach: Recycling magnets for a sustainable future

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As demand for magnets, particularly those made from rare earths like neodymium, continues to soar across various industries, the need for sustainable production methods has become paramount. With China dominating 98 percent of the market, reducing dependency on imports has become a strategic imperative.

One promising solution lies in recycling end-of-life (EOL) devices to recover valuable components, such as neodymium-iron-boron magnets. However, despite the vast potential, less than one percent of these magnets are currently being recycled, leaving a significant opportunity untapped.

Recognizing this, Heraeus, through its Remloy division, has launched a groundbreaking recycling plant for rare earth magnets. This innovative facility, located in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt, utilizes a novel process that not only ensures the same high-quality end products but also drastically reduces resource consumption compared to primary production methods.

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Initially boasting a processing capacity of 600 tons per year, with the potential to double to 1,200 tons, the plant is poised to make a substantial impact. Heraeus estimates that over 30 percent of Europe’s demand for magnets could be met through recycling efforts.

This development is particularly significant for Europe, where rare earth mining is virtually nonexistent. While the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act aims to address this issue by setting recycling quotas and promoting domestic mining, bureaucratic hurdles currently hamper progress.

Heraeus Remloy’s pioneering initiative represents a crucial step towards achieving sustainability in resource management, offering a viable solution to reduce dependence on foreign imports and promote a circular economy within the region’s industrial landscape.

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