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A Circular Value Chain for Permanent Magnets: SUSMAGPRO Final Event at the EU Raw Materials Week 2023


The Raw Materials Week is an annual event organised by the European Commission, which brings together a wide range of stakeholders in the sector to discuss current issues, initiatives, and policies. This year’s focus was on the Critical Raw Materials Act and topics like strategic projects, investment, innovations, circular economy, and international partnerships. As the flagship event in the European Raw Materials sector, it provided the perfect setting for the SUSMAGPRO final event: together with the Rare Earth Industry Association (REIA), and the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), SUSMAGPRO project partners co-organised a full day programme on the 16th of November under the title Developing Permanent Magnets Value Chain.

The SUSMAGPRO session, moderated by project coordinator Prof. Carlo Burkhardt of Pforzheim University, was dedicated to technology highlights, and featured several short pitches on key technological developments by EU research and innovation projects. Starting from the automated extraction of End-of-Life magnets within Horizon Europe projects REEsilience and REEPRODUCE, via short-loop recycling through the patented hydrogen processing of magnet scrap (HPMS) and the demonstration of recycled magnets in applications in SUSMAGPRO to upscaling with the spin-offs REEtec and HyProMag, and finally substitution of critical raw materials in the project PASSENGER, the session covered all steps of a circular value chain. The message given by the panel was clear: Technologies for a circular economy of permanent magnets have successfully been developed, now is the time to put them into action. As current bottlenecks impeding an extensive roll-out, limited supply of scrap and insufficient take-back schemes, lack of a common labelling system and missing design for recycling practices were mentioned. Throughout the day, attendees could chat to the partners and had the chance to find out more about SUSMAGPRO results in an exhibition.

The project SUSMAGPRO, funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is coming to an end on 30th November 2023. Over the last four years, 18 European partners from across the entire permanent magnet value chain have been developing solutions at pilot scale to identify and separate RE magnets from waste, as well as produce reliable recycled RE materials and magnets in sustainable processes. Recycled magnets have been tested in loudspeakers and electric drive motors as demonstrator applications with promising results. Follow-up activities in the industry and in the context of further projects, like the Horizon Europe project REEsilience, have already been initiated.

To view the full agenda of the event, click here.