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Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from magnetic waste in the WEEE recycling industry and tailings from the iron ore industry (REEcover)
Start date: Dec 1, 2013, End date: Nov 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

REEcover aims to:A) Improve European supply of the critical Rare Earth Elements Y, Nd, Tb and DyB) Strengthen SME positions in REE production and recovery value chainC) Innovate and research two different routes for hydro/pyro metallurgical recovery of REEs: as Rare Earth Oxides (REO) or Rare Earth Oxy-Carbides (REOC) in electrolytic reductionD) Demonstrate and compare viability and potential for these routes on two different types of deposited industrial wastes:1. tailings from the iron ore industry (high volume but low concentration of REE)2. magnetic waste material from the WEEE recycling industry (low volume but high concentration REE)REE’s in WEEE-products end up in magnetic waste and subsequently in slag or dust from steelmaking or base metal smelters. During iron ore production of magnetite concentrates tailings are removed and deposited. Both waste streams have potential of becoming valuable feedstock.In WP1, LKAB, WEEE-Recyling & Indumetal, providing input streams, will collaborate with LTU& NTNU to increase the REE concentration by physical separation, leading to low-grade REE-bearing input streams for WP2&3. In WP2, Bredox & Deka supported by TUD &TECNALIA aim to hydrometallurgically extract REEs from WP1-input as individual REOs or their mixtures. This is input for LCM in WP4, that with SINTEF &TUD will optimise an industrial fluoride based electrolytic process for production of RE metals and alloys.Metsol will, supported by TECNALIA, SINTEF &NTNU develop, demonstrate and test a pyro-metallurgical approach for up-concentration of REO and/or conversion to REOC for suitability for electrochemical reduction in WP5, where NTiT, Simtec, SINTEF and NTNU will develop RE metals production based on electrolysis from a molten salt using a consumable RE oxycarbide anode.WP6 will characterise and analyse REE containing materials – from ores to alloys. WP7 will assess and develop the integral value chain, WP8 carries out dissemination and exploitation.
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