Magnets made with rare earth metals are used in the assembly of many electronics including phones, appliances and vehicles. Dysprosium and neodymium are two rare earth metals that are used to create the magnets that are used in these electronics, as well as a variety of other electronic devices.
However, the rare earth elements are spread throughout these devices and it is a complex process to separate the different elements from the parts of electrical equipment to make it possible to reuse them. This challenge has made the recycling process difficult as a large amount of energy is required to separate the different elements to be reused. As a result, for a long time it has been more environmentally responsible to continue mining the elements from the earth as opposed to trying to recycle them from electronics.
Now, as the Earth’s natural resources are depleting and political effects come into light, new technologies are being developed to more efficiently recycle rare metals from used magnets. As the source of these natural resources continues to be used, these rare metals become volatile in supply and price. This has led to the need to develop improved methods for recycling these magnetic materials.
Hitachi has developed new technologies that can separate the two main magnetic materials (dysprosium and neodymium), from recycled electronics for reuse. The company is dedicated to being more socially responsible as a business by developing ways to reduce the impact on the natural environment that their business practices have.
How to Recycle Magnets
Electronic waste is one of the greatest contributors to the growing collection of solid waste being left on Earth. Thankfully, new technologies are allowing for an increasing amount of old electronic equipment to be recycled again. Instead of leaving your electronic equipment that contains rare earth magnets in the trash to end up in a landfill, consider dropping it off at an electronics recycler instead. By bringing your old electronics in to be recycled you can help prevent unnecessary waste and contribute to a more sustainable society.
Jobmaster Magnets carries a variety of different rare earth magnets in different sizes. Both the neodymium and samarium rare earth magnets are able to be broken down to make use of the rare earth metals contained inside.
You have the opportunity to play a role in maintaining a sustainable society by choosing to recycle magnets after you have finished with them so that the rare earth metals inside can be repurposed again.