Heraeus Remloy launches the largest recycling plant for rare earth magnets in Europe

Heraeus Remloy Jetcaster
  • The Heraeus new facility in Bitterfeld starts with the capability of producing 600 tons/year of nanocrystalline rare earth magnetic powders from recycled End-of-Life electronic devices. The product can be used to produce bonded NdFeB magnets, hot formed NdFeB magnet and rare earth hydrogen storage components. Capacity can be ramped up to 1200 tons/year in the near term.
  • Securing critical raw materials for the energy transition, electromobility and digitalization.
  • Recycling technology reduces CO2 emissions by 80 percent compared to primary extraction and manufacturing methods.

Hanau/Bitterfeld-Wolfen, May 14th 2024 - The technology company Heraeus has started production at Europe's largest recycling plant for rare earth magnets. The new plant in Bitterfeld has a processing capacity of up to 600 tons per year, which can be increased to up to 1,200 tons in the medium term. Heraeus Remloy is thus positioning itself as a key player in the sustainable circular economy and securing access to critical raw materials for the European high-tech industry. Heraeus aims to offer European magnet producers and users a reliable, local source of rare earth iron boride powders for the production of environmentally friendly, high permanence magnets.

"Heraeus Remloy has developed a unique recycling technology to ensure the long-term availability of neodymium-iron-boron magnets and to establish a sustainable circular economy. This technology enables resource-saving processing of used magnets, reduces CO2 consumption by 80 percent compared to primary production, but achieves the same quality of magnets," says Alexander Buckow, Technical Director of Heraeus Remloy. In the future, the recycling of used magnets will be able to cover more than 30 percent of the European demand for new magnets.

Almost half of all rare earth elements are used today for permanent magnets. They have a wide range of applications such as, in high-performance electric vehicle traction motors, wind turbines generators, factory automation, robotics, air-conditioning, data storage and sensors. The magnets are irreplaceable for powerful and energy-efficient motors. Demand for NdFeB magnets is expected to double by 2030 and even more than triple by 2040 due to electrification and climate transformation. However, access to rare earth materials is limited and heavily dependent on the global geopolitical situation. Demand is expected to exceed supply as early as 2026, and this could result in the whole European technology industry being highly dependent of precarious supply chains from overseas.

As an industry and innovation leader in Europe, Heraeus recognizes the need to address such risks and develop sustainable solutions, but also to ensure that we use these highly important resources as efficiently and as responsibly as possible. Effective collaboration within the magnet manufacturing and magnet user industries is essential for this goal. Industry and government must also work together to find solutions to reduce Europe’s vulnerable supply chain for rare earth materials and maintain Europe’s leading role in shaping a sustainable future for the World.

Media contact

Till Weber
Senior Manager External Communication
Corporate communications and marketing

Heraeus Business Solutions GmbH
Heraeusstrasse 12-14
63450 Hanau

Phone +49 (0) 6181 35-5785
Mobile +49 (0) 176 1784 2875
E-mail till.weber@heraeus.com
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