Project title: Dismantling and recycling Rare Earth Elements from End-of-life products for the European Green Transition
Funding programme: Horizon Europe
Action type: Research & Innovation Action (RIA)
Duration: 01/05/2022 – 30/04/2026
Overview of the REEPRODUCE project
Europe aims to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In this frame, REEs are essential materials for Europe’s economy and green political agenda. In fact, 64% of the REEs demand is driven by the production of powerful permanent magnets containing neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy) for high-energy efficient electric motors. Such devices are vital for electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, robotics, as well as aerospace and defense applications.
According to the Rare Earth Magnets and Motors: A European Call for Action report released by the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), “while REEs used for magnets (Nd, Pr, Tb, Dy) constitute only 25% of the total rare earths production volume, they represent 80% to 90% of the total rare earths market value”. However, the major challenge nowadays in the REEs European value chain is the heavy reliance on imports from third countries, but particularly from China, as more than 90% of REEs for magnet manufacturer are produced in this country. This then results in a high supply risk for these materials to Europe and the transition towards a green economy is vulnerable. The innovative solutions to be developed in the REEPRODUCE project will set the foundations for a more resilient and secure raw materials value chain in Europe aiming to solve the technological, economical, and societal challenges we are facing today. In addition, this will strengthen the leading role of European REEs industries.
The REEPRODUCE’s ambition is to set up the first sustainable and complete European REEs-recycling value chain at industrial scale, able to produce REEs from EoL products at competitive cost and with environmentally friendly technologies. Achieving this goal will secure an important and strategic value chain for Europe’s green transition.
- Optimisation of innovative technologies for recycling REEs from EoL products at competitive cost;
- Engineering, construction, operation and validation of the REEPRODUCE process in different industrial environments across Europe;
- Demonstration of the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of the REEPRODUCE process in the recycling of REEs;
- Communication of activities and dissemination of the project’s results towards society, scientific and industry communities; and
- Maximise the exploitation of the technologies towards market uptake in Europe
Our involvement in the REEPRODUCE project
Within the REEPRODUCE project, PNO Innovation Belgium leads the development and implementation of the dissemination, communication and clustering strategy. In addition, PNO is also a key contributor in shaping the stakeholders engagement and exploitation tactics of the project. A particular focus is placed on identifying and engaging with relevant stakeholders for further exploitation activities, as well as market and business analysis to support the consortium into bringing the technologies available.