Researchers at the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a DOE innovation hub led by the Ames Institute, have developed a new method for extracting rare earth elements from powerful magnets in electronic waste. Water-based process..Currently a specialist in electromagnetics based in Iowa TdVib We have a technology license and want to commercialize it.
Enterprises often shred items such as computer hard drives to protect that information. When the drive is shredded, recycling becomes more complicated as other recycling methods rely on separating the magnet from other materials. The CMI recycling process is designed to extract rare earths directly from shredded e-waste.
“We take that shredded mixture and put it in a solution, but our solution is aimed at magnets. Magnets containing rare earths, leaving the rest of the mixture undissolved. Dissolves, “explains Principal Researcher Ikenna Nevedim. “Therefore, we put the rare earths in a solution, filter the remaining e-waste, and later pull the rare earths out of the solution. This is a very efficient and robust process.”
According to CMI, the solution used to dissolve magnets is water-based rather than acid-based, so this recycling technique is more environmentally friendly than other common processes. The process begins without acid and by-products are processed to eliminate acid-contaminated waste. Another recycling process heats e-waste to temperatures above 600 ° F to degauss the magnets. The CMI process does not require preheating, so it uses less energy.
“Acid-free dissolution has all the important functions for sustainable recycling. It shows environmentally friendly and economical potential and efficiently retrieves high-purity products suitable for commercial applications. “We do,” said Dennis Prodius, co-inventor of the technology.
Because the solution used in this process is copper-based, the treated e-waste is infused with copper and can be recovered or reused for other operations. The dissolution process leaves other materials of e-waste intact and allows the extraction of materials such as gold and platinum.
Another important aspect of this technology is its scalability. According to Dan Bina, CEO of TdVib, upscaling has actually improved the process. “It is common for efficiency to drop during scaling of new processes, but the opposite was observed for acid-free dissolution processes without compromising purity,” he said. “We have improved the efficiency of rare earth leaching from magnets in shredded hard drives from about 70% obtained in laboratory studies to 90% in our facility. In the case of magnets, the melting efficiency can exceed 98%. “
TdVib has received SME technology transfer funding from the National Science Foundation Network to commercialize rare earth extraction technology. The company’s goal in Phase II of this program is to produce 3-5 tonnes of rare earth oxides over the next 1-2 years.
https://chargedevs.com/newswire/tdvib-works-to-commercialize-acid-free-process-for-recovering-rare-earths-from-electronic-waste/ Charged EV | TdVib is committed to commercializing an acid-free process for recovering rare earths from e-waste