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08.28.2018

Rare-earth magnet recycling tech wins innovation award

By Laura Millsaps, Ames Laboratory Communications

An acid-free dissolution rare-earth magnet recycling process has earned a 2018 Notable Technology Development Award from the Federal Laboratories Consortium (FLC).

Researchers at the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) and Ames Laboratory invented a magnet recycling process in which magnets are dissolved in water-based solutions, recovering more than 99 percent purity rare earth elements. Cobalt is also recovered from cobalt-containing magnet wastes. The rare earth materials recovered have been reused in making new magnets, and the recovered cobalt shows promise for use in making battery cathodes.