It’s been ten years since the first REE crisis and the problem is far from resolved but the first few seeds signal promise, and we may finally see a flower grow.
Jeff Falk, “The United States must reduce its dependence on China-dominated supply chains for critical goods, according to a new report by experts in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute.”
The Economist, “Many of the elements used in smartphones are finite resources and have no functional substitutes. Rather than digging in the ground for the elements needed for new handsets it makes sense to extract them from old phones – but only about 10% of handsets are recycled now. So recycle your phone if you get a new one this year. Why? It is you might say, Elementary.”
Check out our posts on social media for an example of recycling rare earths below. The picture shows the magnets from an older pair of headphones compared with newer ones. The old ones are from over 10 years ago and have a ferrite magnet, which is big, bulky, and produces fairly bad sound. The new ones are much better. The red circle marks the NdFeB (Neodymium) magnet in the modern headphones, which weighs about 0.65 grams.
“Japan will conduct the financing through a government-owned resource investment company: the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., or Jogmec. Legislation will be revised to allow it to take stakes in rare-earths smelting projects. Processing facilities, which have a large environmental impact, are now primarily concentrated in China. And Beijing has employed its dominance in rare earths to exert pressure before. In 2010, it quietly cut exports to Japan amid a dust-up over a territorial issue. Jogmec will also take steps to ensure Japan’s stable access to cobalt, a mineral used in lithium-ion batteries, to counter Chinese enterprises securing rights in Congo. The resource company could spend up to around 20 billion yen ($182 million) in all on both efforts.”
“The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released open-access designs of the International Energy Agency (IEA) 15MW reference offshore wind turbine.” Is this an example of broader collaborations on new technology?
Quebec-based GeoMegA Resources has developed a proprietary, environmentally-friendly ISR technology that recycles rare earth elements using magnet residue and recycled magnets as the main source of feed. The company intends to process feed from magnet manufacturers, alloy makers, and recyclers across Europe and the US at it’s Canadian facility. The company uses organic, solvent-free proprietary technology to isolate and purify four high demand, high priced rare earth elements, which represents an estimated 30% of annual global demand for rare earth elements and 80% of the total market value.
” don’t forget about swarf,” Adam Baylis, January 22nd 2020.
To close the loop in the circular economy, as they call it, you do need to recycle. Funny enough, they do recycle in China. They do recycle rare earth magnets in China and they are basically the leader in that. Nobody talks about it.”
Kiril Mugerman: We are recycling those magnets. When we receive them, what happens is that we crush them if we receive them as solids. Sometimes we receive them as powders already, which is crushed material. Then it goes into a reactor where a process happens. It’s a sequence of three reactors where basically a process goes from one to the next one to the next one and we get our final product. The closer it goes towards the end of the process, the more similar to a traditional process. The first stages are very different and innovative, and do not produce the same waste that are produced in traditional technologies today.
However, Quebec and Canada are light years away from having an integrated industry, says Kiril Mugerman, president and chief executive officer of Ressources Géoméga, an SME from Boucherville that owns the Montviel rare earth deposit. , in the Nord-du-Québec region.
“The sooner we produce oxides in North America, the faster we will attract companies capable of making alloys,” he insists.
2020 Targeting initial production from the demonstration plant / 2020年的目标是使示范工厂初步投产
“With the joint action plan on critical minerals collaboration that was signed between United States and Canada on January 9, 2020 we are starting to see the first concrete steps by both countries in securing supply chains for the critical minerals needed for important manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defence, and clean technology. We envision that our demonstration plant in St-Bruno can become the center of Quebec’s rare earths hub that would bring these critical materials back to North America. We are now finalizing the details of the financing package for the demonstration plant and information will be provided shortly.” commented Kiril Mugerman, President & CEO of Geomega.
Rod Hunt was commissioned by The Restart Project to illustrate Materials Matter, educational resources to learn about the materials inside our electronics and their significance. Through hands-on activity, we reveal hidden environmental impacts of mobile phones and other electronics.
Learn about GREENTEC, a Canadian electronic recycling company.
#China: Ganzhou deputy mayor, deputy directors of Mining Bureau, of Natural Resources Bureau and of Soil & Water Conservation Bureau punishedhttps://finance.sina.com.cn/china/gncj/2020-01-09/doc-iihnzahk3037739.shtml …
Collusion, false reports, fake data, waste dumping in supposed environmental cleanup of closed #RareEarths mines.
Today, Canada and the U.S. announced they have finalized the Canada–U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, advancing our mutual interest in securing supply chains for the critical minerals needed for important manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defence, and clean technology. This announcement delivers on the June 2019 commitment by the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States.
“Great to see US and Canada cooperating on #rareearths and critical materials. Time to make a change. #rareearths #recycling $GMA.V in North America”
Why Asia weaponized rare earths, soybeans and palm oil in 2019 Published DECEMBER 28, 2019. By RURIKA IMAHASHI and CK TAN, Nikkei staff writers. “Looking back on 2019,” said Yoshikazu Watanabe, president of Tsukushi Shigen Consul, a consultancy specializing in resources, “it was about weaponizing commodities.” Why Asia weaponized rare earths, soybeans and palm oil […]
“People are starting to talk about it. We started talking about it five years ago! Today, we are slowly starting to see the US government, the Canadian government, and the European Union all waking up to the reality that you do need to go after the circular economy behind rare earth elements.” Kiril Mugerman, November […]
Learn about the ongoing “trend to use powerful neodymium magnets to generate high torque in a compact motor.” Originally published 2017/4/20 by by Takashi Kenjo, Nidec Technical Adviser. https://www.nidec.com/en/technology/motor/academic/009/ “When training a motor scientist or engineer, it is important to bring up the question “why?” One must be able to form a clear picture in […]
As in Wikipedia, “Due to its role in permanent magnets used for wind turbines, it has been argued that neodymium will be one of the main objects of geopolitical competition in a world running on renewable energy. But this perspective has been criticised for failing to recognise that most wind turbines do not use permanent […]
Did you know people have studied, “magnets inserted into an individual’s fingers as a form of human computer interface”? Learn more, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01969722.2018.1448223 Biohackers with skin implants to feel magnetic fields? I.Harrison, K.Warwick and V.Ruiz (2018), “Subdermal Magnetic Implants: An Experimental Study”, Cybernetics and Systems. “In this paper, we consider the use of permanent implanted magnets […]
As in Wikipedia, Neodymium magnet A neodymium magnet (also known as NdFeB, NIB or Neo magnet) is the most widely used type of rare-earth magnet. It is a permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron to form the Nd 2Fe 14B tetragonal crystalline structure. The strength of neodymium magnets is due […]
Tony Simon puts it well: “Rare Earth Elements: Not Rare, But Important. No need for me to write about them. Joe Martin, of Cambridge House fame, has written a good summary here.” Read what Joe Martin has to say about rare earths (TCE!) and the upcoming VRIC2020. REEs are not rare, it is all about […]
Read this description of “rare earth motor” that doesn’t use battery. It’s a bold claim with limited details because it is patent pending. Has anyone replicated the results described here? Could we improve on them with new methods or materials? https://www.powerelectronics.com/technologies/alternative-energy/article/21864052/new-discovery-could-lead-to-commercial-production-of-permanent-magnet-motors “Attract-Repel Demo: We constructed an apparatus to demonstrate the simultaneous resultant attraction in the […]