Creating a market for rare earth magnets .
The existing rare earths supplies are limited and produced in very few locations on earth. The largest of which is China. Due to the importance of rare earth metals to industry, technology, and national defense, recycling has become critical.
We are working on creating a market to bridge the gap in efficient supplies of these materials to large scale re-processors.
There are several types of rare earth permanent magnets — all of which can be recycled.
A permanent magnet does not lose its magnetic field as opposed to electromagnets that generate a field using a power source, such as lifting magnets at a steel yard.
Permanent magnets are found in hard drives, speakers, snaps on purses and wallets, door latches, cell phones, motors and power generators just to name a few.
There are four types of permanent magnets:
Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB or NIB) and Samarium Cobalt (SmCo) generally known as rare earth magnets
Alnico – aluminum, nickel, and cobalt
Ceramic or Ferrite – made with strontium ferrite – a ceramic type of iron oxide.
Where else are Rare Earth elements found?
Cell phones use rare earths in quantities less than a gram, such as the neodymium magnets that power the speaker & the vibrate function. LCD screens include rare earth phosphors, like europium, yittrium and terbium giving flat screens the ability to generate color.
Fluorescent light bulbs contain rare earths in the phosphor coating. Fluorescent recycling has received attention due to the mercury content . Less attention is paid to the white coating on the inside of bulbs, which contain the rare earth elements.
Florescent recyclers typically captured the end caps, mercury, and glass, discarding the phosphor powder.