Öko-Institut für fordert Recycling System Seltene Erden

Whenever a hard drive or a DVD player lands in Germany in the garbage, lost rare earth metals. For the eco-Institute is not this a waste of acceptable. It calls for a recycling system for the expensive commodity.

A small disk of Toshiba: Rare earth often stuck in the high-performance magnets of small engines. In case of scrapping them go so far irretrievably lost.

The term Rare earth Although misleading, but has come to be a long time. Actually it is about oxides - the former earth were called -, in a group of 17 Elements occur naturally in the earth's crust. These include, for example cerium, Yttrium and neodymium. Rare earths are mined mainly in China, which has in Mongolia, the world's largest deposits.

Today, the rare earths are in many key technologies used. Immerse yourself in polishes, Special glasses, in fluorescent lamps, Roar- and plasma screens on. They are used in the manufacture of permanent magnets, which are used in modern and highly efficient electric motors. Das Öko-Institut, a private environmental research institute based in Freiburg, has now investigated the recycling potential for rare earths in a study.

For the study, the Öko-Institut had interviewed several hundred industrial companies in Baden-Württemberg on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment. The Conclusion: "The potential for the recovery of the rare earths is not lifted and urgently needs to be developed." European companies have 2012 up to two million electric motors are manufactured with permanent magnets for industrial applications, it says in the study.

Rare earth stuck in high performance magnets the hard drive motors

Around half of these permanent magnets, the approximately 30 Percent rare earths contained, would be built in Germany. "About one-fifth of the total funding for rare earths is currently used for the production of high performance magnets, especially in small motors such as in hard drives or optical drives, consumer electronics." Even now going almost the entire promotion of the rare earth element dysprosium for the production of magnets used. The prices for dysprosium are of 150 U.S. dollars per kilogram in 2009 on 660 Dollars a year 2013 increased. And the demand will continue to grow.

The metal dealer Gunther Maassen holding a piece of bismuth in hand. Rare earths were in 2011 came into the headlines, because the main supplier China had adopted stringent export restrictions. The industry feared shortages of.

But still such industrial engines would not separately collected and disposed of at the end of life, complain about the authors of the study. "So, the permanent magnets land after the latest 30 Years in the steel- or copper scrap or disposed of through the municipal waste even. In order for the industry in Germany are already around 35 to 40 Lost tons of neodymium-iron-boron magnets - and the trend for the years 2025/2030 rising sharply. "

Öko-Institut recommends construction of the recycling system to 2030

A system is Öko-Institut but not yet in sight, that could ensure an effective return this magnet scraps in a circular economy. For this purpose only should a market be built, so that was worth the recycling of scrap magnets. The early development of a collective- therefore and return system come to a strategic importance, because appropriate approaches would have a positive impact on investment decisions in magnetic Recycling.

Such a collection system, which should ideally be designed at EU level, can also be built up of industrial. "By the time a year 2030 about 100 Tons of neodymium magnets are disposed of, has the infrastructure for the collection, Separation and recycling for scrap magnet are ", fordert Matthias Buchert, who led the study at the Öko-Institut.

Those: http://www.ingenieur.de / topics / resources / Oeko-Institute-calls-recycling system for rare earth

From Gudrun Schoenebeck
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