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Closed-loop rare earths recycling process for hybrid and electric vehicles

July 2020
Gallery REE4EU 1
Gallery REE4EU 1


REE4EU enables the recovery and re-use of rare earth minerals for use in sectors such as hybrid vehicles and wind turbines, supporting the transition to a low carbon future.

Rare earth elements (REE) are targeted as a crucial component of "green technology" applications. Currently, it is forecasted an increasing demand of REE, mainly for neodymium-based permanent magnets used in highly effective motors for hybrid vehicles and wind turbine generators. The REE supply is however at risk due to the unpredictable trading policies. The REE4EU technology seeks to cover the European demand for REE using secondary REE-containing resources (i.e. from waste) currently available in Europe, thus realising an innovative closed-loop REE recycling process where REE-containing wastes are converted into REE-final products. The REE final products manufactured with recycled material showed the same properties as those made from virgin materials. Not only does REE4EU reduce landfill, but it also has far lower CO2 emissions than extracting and using virgin materials. Moreover, it also highlights competitive costs compared to the conventional scenario of primary REE extraction. The REE4EU technology can secure important value chains in Europe necessary for decarbonisation, resource efficiency and zero waste targets and gives a promising market opportunity for a European REE recycling business.

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Label Date July 22, 2020
From Norway
Maturity stage Prototype testing in the real world
Looking For Credibility, visibility, investment

The environmental benefits

  • Around 50% lower GHG emissions compared to use of virgin REE materials
  • Around 35% lower primary energy consumption than mainstream alternative

The Financial benefits

  • Payback period of under three years

Activity Region

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  • Headquarters
  • Activity

Company Profile


SINTEF is a broad, multidisciplinary research organization with international top-level expertise.

View company profile
Headquarters 7034 Trondheim, Norway
Contact the Solution Provider Add to Favorites

The information set out above, is solely for the purposes of information and the Solar Impulse Foundation does not provide any guarantee as to its authenticity, completeness or accuracy. This information does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy into, transact or to enter into any agreement with any of the parties or persons mentioned above. Potential investors or interested parties are solely responsible for their investment or business decisions and for performing any due diligence required by the circumstances. The innovator SINTEF has asserted ownership of the intellectual property rights for images, videos, and content showcased above, affirming full and unrestricted usage rights, and has provided explicit permission for the Solar Impulse Foundation to publish such information designated as "public" in the application form.