Electrochemical recycling of rare earth elements from NdFeB magnet waste

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Abstract

Rare earth elements (REEs), along with other metals, will play a pivotal role in the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Primary mining of REEs consists of multiple steps, is energy intensive and has an adverse environmental impact. Thus, the current scenario of “use and throw” of REEs after a single use in a product is untenable. Furthermore, the REEs are classified as critical metals by the US and EU due to the monopoly of China over REE production. Thus, recycling REEs from secondary resources and end-of-life (EOL) waste products can help effectuate a circular economy by a) reducing the environmental impact of primary mining, b) reducing the dependency on imports and formulating a secure supply chain, c) avoiding landfilling and incineration...