REEPRODUCE will capitalise on the knowledge generated by previous R&D projects – REE4EU – and will tackle all the remaining technical challenges along the entire value chain. The results of the REEPRODUCE project would have the following outcomes and impact:
- Scale up promising raw materials recycling from EoL products technologies and urban mines, including efficient sorting technologies for separation and recycling;
- Development of pilots showing that raw materials can be produced in an innovative and sustainable way;
- Strengthen the competitiveness of European raw materials industries;
- Contribute to the ambitious energy and climate targets for 2030;
- Minimize environmental impacts and risks and maximize circularity;
- Resource circularity and gain the trust of European citizens in the raw materials sector;
- Resilient, sustainable and secure REEs value chain for European ecosystems;
- Leadership in producing materials for decarbonizing industries;
- Leadership in circular economy that strengthens cooperation along the value chain and enable small and medium-sized enterprises to evolve their activities.
REEPRODUCE impact in numbers
The REEPRODUCE pilots could establish a REEs value chain approximately 70% more environmentally sustainable, 25% less expensive and 25% more socially sustainable than the current import arrangement for Nd-based PMs. The solution of the REEPRODUCE process has the potential to reduce climate change impact by 71% – social impact – and primary energy consumption by 66% – economic impact.
Technologies developed within REEPRODUCE project will be validated at pilot scale – capable of extracting and treating 70 t Nd-based PMs/year and producing 20 t Rare Earth Alloy (REA)/year.
The European REEs circularity potential could be increased by 70% compared to the current 0-1% recycling input rate. The ultimate goal of the REEPRODUCE project is to provide Europe with its first complete REEs recycling value chain, at industrial scale and at competitive costs (compared to REEs primary production), and using sustainable technologies from an environmental and social point of view. Additionally, the project will develop an innovative solution that could unlock a key mechanism for nurturing a domestic magnet sector.
Who will benefit from the technological breakthrough?
The full uptake of the REEPRODUCE technologies would unlock the European Nd-based PMs recycling value chain involving European ecosystems formed by several stakeholders:
- WEEE & ELVs recycling companies
- Metal recyclers or refineries and REA producers
- PMs manufacturers
- End-uses manufacturers from different industrial sectors
- Society/consumers in general