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Consortium

The success of the REEPRODUCE project is founded on the collaborative work between 15 partners covering the entire European REEs recycling value chain. The partners involved will work in partnership on different tasks, from the optimisation and development of technologies, to the communication, dissemination and exploitation of results.

COORDINATOR

SINTEF AS

SINTEF is a broad, multidisciplinary research organisation with international top-level expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, medicine and the social sciences. SINTEF is one of the largest contract research institutions in Europe (2100 employees), and conducts R&D contracts as a partner for the private and public sectors. Metal production and processing is one important area, comprising the whole value-chain: from the extraction of minerals from the crust of the earth, to the production of metals and materials, their application and behavior, all the way to the end products. Recycling of critical raw materials from end-of-life products and industrial by-products is also an key part of our activities.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: SINTEF coordinates the implementation of the project and has a key role in the development of the high temperature electrolysis pilot to produce rare earth alloys for permanent magnets.  

Indumental Recycling

Indumetal Recycling is a pioneer company and one of the main players in the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and complex scrap in Europe. In addition, Indumetal offers logistics and dismantling services for industrial facilities. At Indumetal Recycling, more than 30,000 tons of WEEE and complex scrap are recycled annually. Iron, aluminum, copper concentrates with precious metals, as well as different types of plastic and glass are obtained, as final products. The quality and competitiveness of the services, processes and products offered are guaranteed by the ongoing efforts to improve staff training, to update research and technological developments, as well as to ensure the quality and respect of the environment.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Indumetal is the leader of work package (WP2), where it will coordinate the activities focused on the development of an automatised sorting and dismantling system and supply Neodymium (Nd)-based Permanent Magnets (PMs) from Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Moreover, Indumetal is the leader of Task 6.2, hosting the pilot plant developed for the extraction of Nd-based PMs from Hybrid hard drives (HHDs). Besides its involvment in different tasks, throughout the whole project, Indumetal will share its know-how on (1) handling sorting and dismantling of WEEE and (2) recycling treatment, waste valorisation and secondary raw materials, in order to develop a competitive and sustainable REEPRODUCE process.

REVAC AS

Revac is one of Scandinavias biggest recylers of Weee (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)) and has recyling plants in Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian plant is by far the biggest and recycles 70 % of the total post consumer waste electronics placed on the Norwegian market. The plant is top modern and is one Europes most modern and meets all BAT and BREF regulations for now and the close future.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Revac's task and responsibility in the project are to contribute with sampling and knowledge about Neondymium in WEEE.

Euregio Recycling Belgium BV

With over 60 years of experience, Euregio Recycling is a  family-owned company that posseses a big Lindemann zerdirator (Shredder) from 5000PS, used to shred mainly electric motors, around 6.000MT per month. 

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project:  In the first stages of the project, Euregio will mainly deliver products like shredder steel and complete electric motors , which will be analysed by different companies. With this information, other companies like Sense2sort and Bronneberg will develop a machine to be further tested within the project. Together with the other partners, Euregio Recycling will also contribute to the overall solution to reach the main goal of REEPRODUCE.

Jean Goldschmidt International S.A. & Hydrometal S.A

The Jean Goldschmidt International – Hydrometal (JGI-HM) group is a leader in the circular economy with more than 60 years of expertise in the trading and recycling of non-ferrous metals. JGI (headquartered in Brussels, Belgium) is active in the worldwide trading of raw materials, products, and by-products bearing metals, whereas Hydrometal (a subsidiary of JGI located in Engis, Belgium) is focused on the hydrometallurgical recycling of non-ferrous metals from highly-complex materials, such as by-products and waste. The industrial recycling activities of Hydrometal are essential in the worldwide value chain of (critical) metals and significantly contribute to avoiding the economic, environmental, and societal consequences of landfilling. JGI-HM’s client portfolio includes chemical and metallurgical companies across the globe.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: In the REEPRODUCE project, JGI-HM will operate and validate the Advanced Hydrometallurgy technology at pilot scale to recover REEs from end-of-life Nd-based permanent magnets and obtain high-quality REEs-oxalates. Moreover, the company will lead the upstream pilot-scaled extraction of Nd-based permanent magnets from sorted end-of-life products, the downstream pilot-scaled conversion of REEs-oxalates into REE-alloy, and the production and validation of new permanent magnets using recycled REEs. Such operations will be conducted in different locations across Europe.

Magneti Ljubljana d.d.

Magneti Ljubljana is a European manufacturer of permanent metallic magnets, bonded magnets and magnetic systems with a long-lasting tradition, since 1951. We are a development and market oriented company characterised by financial stability and business success. Through innovation and business excellence we continue to fulfil our customers’ demands and aim to create a working environment that encourages the development of our employees and the company as a whole in a sustainable and responsible manner. Our vision is to become a global manufacturer in the global market for permanent metallic magnets and magnetic systems. Our aim is to fulfil our customers’ demands and expectations by focusing on the development of technologically advanced products and processes.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Production of permanent magnets from metals and alloys which will be made by project partners.

Elkem

Elkem is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future. The company develops silicones, silicon products and carbon solutions by combining natural raw materials, renewable energy and human ingenuity. Elkem helps its customers create and improve essential innovations like electric mobility, digital communications, health and personal care as well as smarter and more sustainable cities. Elkem Technology, with its R&D center, contributes to research and development related to all parts of Elkem’s value chain. The research strategy is built on a close connection between the operational organization and researchers.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Elkem is responsible to run commissioning and continuous operation of the High-Temperature Electrolysis (HTE) cell. Elkem will receive Rare Earth Element Oxalate (REE-Oxalate) from partner JGI-Hydrometal for calcination to produce Rare Earth Oxide mixture (REO-mixture) for the Rare Earth Alloy (REA) production. The continuous operation in the HTE cell will prove a capacity of around 20 tREA/year, with a energy consumption of 5 kWh/kg and increased use of automation. The produced REA will be sent further to partner ELMAGNETI for strip-casting and PM manufacturing.

Bronneberg

Bronneberg B.V. is a well-known player in the global recycling equipment market. Bronneberg’ s recycling machines stand out in terms of reliability, quality and innovative technology. The company develops, produces and markets machines for recycling scrap, metal, cars, cable etc. Their products range from small cable stripers, which strip insulation from electricity cables, to very large scrap balers and shears-balers, which process steel and metal scrap under the most severe conditions.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Bronneberg’ s goal in the REEPRODUCE project is to provide knowledge of recycling ferro and non-ferro metals and separating them in an efficient and effective way. In collaboration with other REEPRODUCE partners, Bronneberg’s ambition is to develop a machine or machine-line which can separate the magnets.

DISKUS

DISKUS Polska is a center for creating and implementing modern technologies and solutions in the IT industry. The company is the undisputed Polish leader in the field of professional, certified data deletion services and physical destruction of storage media. In a modern R&D center, DISKUS Polska focuses on research and scientific projects and implements a cooperation program with renowned academic centers. Thanks to this, it creates reliable, technologically advanced ProDevice devices for effective and irreversible data destruction: degaussers and media shredders / destroyers. The products meet strict standards related to data protection, defined by international guidelines and legal regulations, such as GDPR.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: DISKUS Polska (ProDevice) is a part of the REEPRODUCE project consortium, which includes entities representing both industry and science. Within this project, the company will provide the supply of ferrous fraction of shredded HDDs and contribute to the development of the process to separate Nd-based material from shredded components.  The developed technology will be used in the production of devices for destroying hard drives (ProDevice HDDs shredders), which DISKUS Polska sells all over the world.

PNO INNOVATION BELGIUM

PNO Innovation Belgium is specialized in Innovation Management and funding, providing support services to private and public organizations in Innovation processes, Technology Transfer, IT solutions and funding for research, development and innovation.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: PNO will lead Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation activities and will bring its international consulting experience into the consortium including extensive project and innovation management, exploitation and business planning expertise. A particular focus will be given to value chain stakeholders analysis, to identify and engage relevant stakeholders for further exploitation activities, as well as market and business analysis to support the consortium into bringing the Key Exploitable Results closer to the market.

Sense2Sort-Toratècnica, S.L.

Sense2sort is a family owned company dedicated to the Recycling business since more than 13 years and based in Barcelona, Spain. With our sensor based sorting machines we are able to distinguish metals and metal alloys as well as the recovery of all kind of metals from post shredder material streams. Using induction, RGB-Line scan cameras, IR, X-Ray and LIBS sensor technologies. We develop highly sophisticated sorting technology with the focus on the metal recycling markets worldwide.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: We are standing in the front row of the project and have to kick-off the technical realization, our task in this project is the development of a sensor based semi-mobile sorting machine, for the separation of EoL WEEE-devices containing Nd-permanent magnets. Using several sensor technologies in combination with AI we will meet this challenge.

Inovertis-A3i

From the idea to the plant, Inovertis-A3i provides technical studies, undertakes processes design/engineering and construction, as well as expert mission of consultancy. With an overview of the technical, economic and environmental challenges, we aim to support our customers from the first steps of the project to its.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: In the REEPRODUCE project, Inovertis-A3i is the leader of work packages (WP) 5 and 7. From a technical point of view, Inovertis is in charge of the design, the engineering, the construction and the commissioning of the hydrometallurgical as well as of the high temperature electrolysis pilots in the frame of WP5. In the WP7, Inovertis-A3i has to perform the social, environmental and economic evaluation of the rare earth recycling chain in comparison to the current scenario.

Institute FAPS of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

Founded in 1743, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) today is a university with approximately 40,000 enrolled students that offers the entire spectrum of academic disciplines and opportunities across diverse research areas. FAU is one of the leading research universities in Germany (more than 200 million euros third-party funding) and consistently ranked highly in both national and international rankings.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Different technologies for extraction and sorting of magnets and magnet material are developed and adapted depending on the starting products: Within Scenario A, process chains are therefore optimized that enable automated disassembly of magnets from rotors. Another major advantage would be that not only the magnets but also other rotor parts can be reused.  Within Scenario B, technologies and methods are to be researched for shredding complete rotors of the most diverse electric drives and then enabling their separation by exploiting the specific magnetic differentiated material properties of soft and hard magnetic materials. This strategy allows a high tolerance to different shapes and conditions of the supplied scrap motors/scrap shapes.

Tecnalia Research & Innovation

TECNALIA is a private, independent, non-profit applied research centre of international excellence and member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA). Legally a Foundation, TECNALIA is the leading private and independent research and technology organisation in Spain (over 777 patents and promoted more than 30 spin-off companies, participates in 352 H2020 projects, coordinating 73 of them, and in 35 HORIZON EUROPE projects, coordinating 6 of them) and one of the largest in Europe, employing around 1,472 people (266 PhDs) and with income of 113,5 Million € in 2020.

TECNALIA collaborates with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people’s quality of life and achieve sustainable growth. TECNALIA’s main areas of action are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalised health and urban ecosystem.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: TECNALIA’s work in REEPRODUCE will focus on the optimization of the advanced hydrometallurgical technology in order to gain flexibility and efficiency towards treating different types of Nd-based permanent magnets with different chemistries, sizes of material and impurities, etc. Such optimization will involve the design and study of adequate pre-treatments, leaching systems and metal separation and recovery routes to achieve robust processes for the REE recycling from the different magnets wastes.

Asociación Centro tecnológico Ceit

Created in 1982 on the initiative of the University of Navarra, Ceit is a non-profit Technology Centre that uses its high specialization in advanced manufacturing, mobility, sustainability and information technologies to develop industrial applied research projects in close collaboration with companies.

Main tasks and responsibilities in the project: Within the REEPRODUCE research team, Ceit will be in charge of developing the dismantling process to extract the maximum number of components containing Nd-based PMs. More precisely, CEIT will use technologies like robotics, artificial vision, deep learning and reinforcement learning to develop a pilot (TRL7) for the automated dismantling of hard disk drives (HDDs) in order to extract components bearing Nd-based PMs. Additionally, CEIT will also develop another pilot (TRL7) to extract electric motors (containing Nd-based PMs) for new incoming WEEE, such as personal/portable electric mobility, robo