On March 8, 2017, the formal kick-off meeting of the NEOHIRE project took place in Brussels. NEOHIRE is a EU Horizon 2020 project which stands for “NEOdymium-Iron-Boron base materials, fabrication techniques and recycling solutions to HIghly REduce the consumption of Rare Earths in Permanent Magnets for Wind Energy Application”. Coordinator is CEIT (Spain). NEOHIRE also involves KU Leuven and the University of Birmingham (who is also KU Leuven’s partner in ETNs EREAN and DEMETER) as two core partners in the project. During the kick-off meeting more than 20 researchers discussed the details of the implementation of the work plan for the following three years of research.
NEOHIRE’s main objective is to reduce the use of rare earth elements (REE), and Co and Ga (Critical Raw Materials, CRMs), in the permanent magnets used in wind turbine generators (WTG). This objective is mainly achieved through the development of a) new concept of bonded NdFeB magnet able to substitute the present state-of-the-art sintered magnets for WT, and b) new recycling techniques for these CRM from the future and current permanent magnets (PM) wastes. In this way, the EU external demand of REE and CRM for PM in WTG will be reduced in a 50% (thanks to a strong reduction of the REE (Dy and Nd) and CRM (Co and Ga) needed to manufacture NEOHIRE PM for WT and to a high supply-chain based on reuse). In this project, SIM² KU Leuven (Research Line 2 led by Prof. Koen Binnemans) will mainly focus on the recovery of REEs and Co from resin-bonded NdFeB Permanent Magnets used in wind turbines.
More info about the project can be read here.