Marketplace

  • GlasPort Bio Ltd - overall Rushlight Award winners, reduce gas & add value to manure Awards & Standards
    GlasPort Bio Ltd - overall Rushlight Award winners, reduce gas & add value to manure

    Animal manure has long been recognised as a valuable fertiliser and a source of renewable energy. It is also a major source of pollution, with emissions from stored manure accounting for approximately 15% of all agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 70% of all ammonia emissions in Europe.

  • Ion Science - new protection against VOCs Health & safety
    Ion Science - new protection against VOCs

    Offering a new level of enhanced, reliable protection against VOCs with the first 11.7 Cub personal solution from ION Science.

    In a 2018 report from the UN, it was revealed that a worker dies every 30 seconds due to exposure to toxic gases in the workplace. That such statistics still exist today is one of the reasons ION Science is working hard to create protective technologies for workers against VOC exposure. The new 11.7 eV Cub personal solution is the first of its kind and promises to be a game-changer for protection against exposure.

    ion science VOC sensorThe Cub 11.7 eV personal device is the latest addition to ION Science's world-leadingrange of gas and leak detection products. Using their 30 years of industry experienceand their extensive knowledge of both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) andphotoionisation detection (PID), ION Science continue to deliver excellence in protection for workers.

    The 11.7 eV sensor lamp is a notoriously difficult lamp to manufacture. Due to its highly sensitive nature, 11.7 eV devices in the past have been temperamental, require frequent lamp changes and ultimately end up with increased environmental exposure, affecting performance of the device.

    ION Science has tackled this issue and developed a refined manufacturing method that eliminates some of the sensitivities and issues previously associated with 11.7 eV detection.

    As the first 11.7 personal detection solution from ION Science, the Cub 11.7 offers all the features a customer would expect from the market leader.

    This includes resistance to humidity and moisture, operational in temperatures from 0-55 degrees, and intrinsically safe even in explosive environments. Its lightweight design at only 111g makes it comfortable for wearers and the small size doesn't impede movement or work.

    Unrivalled Gas Detection.
    ionscience.com

  • CORE (UK) Ltd - Supply chain pioneers win Queens Award Awards & Standards
    CORE (UK) Ltd - Supply chain pioneers win Queens Award

    Supply chain pioneers, CORE (UK) Ltd, win The Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade

    CORE (UK) Ltd, leaders in digital supply chain management software have been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade for outstanding growth and commercial success in international trade.

  • Enviva - Sustainable Benefits of the Wood Pellet Industry Energy & Resource Management
    Enviva - Sustainable Benefits of the Wood Pellet Industry

    Sustainable Benefits of the Wood Pellet Industry - by Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, Chief Sustainability Officer at Enviva

    Healthy, growing forests remain one of the most critical tools in the fight to mitigate climate change, and sustainable forest management is part of every plan outlined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the "IPCC") to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

v ecohouse button

web mossborough spud field copy

Monday, 19 August 2019 15:57

Boost for recycling of rare earth metals for a green economy

The University of Birmingham has been awarded €4m to set up a pilot facility to reclaim rare earth metals from scrap as part of an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project. The facility will focus on recycling magnets made of neodymium, boron and iron. These are found in hard disk drives, household appliances, electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, and are increasingly important in the transition to a green, low carbon economy.

In the last 30 years their use has increased exponentially, and demand is expected to rise to the tens of thousands of tonnes by 20301. China produces around 80% of the world's rare earth metals, and currently less than 1% is recycled – which means it presents an exciting circular economy opportunity. Additionally, there has been significant volatility in the price of rare earth metals in recent years, and recycling the magnets will help protect the supply chain for Europe's manufacturing base.

The grant will fund the development of a complete European supply chain that is capable of producing 20 tonnes of recycled magnets a year that would otherwise go to landfill.

rare earthA robotic sorting line will locate and concentrate the rare earth magnets from scrap at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham, recycling facilities will extract the metal alloy powders, and these will be used to manufacture recycled magnets in plants in the UK, Germany and Slovenia.

An innovative process developed by University of Birmingham researchers will be a key aspect of this new supply chain.

Previous methods of extracting rare earth metals required disassembly and removal of the magnet. However the new process uses hydrogen to break down magnetic metal alloys into a powder, which is easily separated from the remaining components, thereby saving time, labour and money. The approach also allows the recycling unit to process multiple items at the same time.

Professor Allan Walton, from the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham is one of the inventors of the process. He commented: "Rare earth magnets are used in practically every application that uses electricity to produce motion, and underpin industries that are worth more than £1trn worldwide. However both the price and supply have fluctuated considerably over recent years. This means there is considerable opportunity for cost-efficient technologies, which make recycling viable in the long-term."

Recent studies have indicated that magnet recycling could emulate the stainless-steel market, where 25% of demand is met by secondary material4.

The EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme awarded a grant of €14m to SUSMAGPRO (Sustainable Recovery, Reprocessing and Reuse of Rare-Earth Magnets in a Circular Economy), an industry-based consortium, which consists of 19 project partners and one associated partner from nine European countries. Of this, €4.696m was allocated to the University of Birmingham to build a scaled pilot system for Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS).

The new supply chain will be capable of producing 20 tonnes of recycled magnets a year. A robotic sorting line in Sweden will locate and concentrate the rare earth magnets from scrap, production facilities in the UK, Germany and Sweden will extract the magnet powders from sorted scrap, and these alloys will be used to manufacture recycled magnets in plants in the UK, Germany, Denmark and Slovenia. It is expected that the facilities will process scrap from a range of sources, from small domestic appliances to larger industrial machinery, up to the size of wind turbines.

HPMS – Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap - This patented process uses hydrogen decrepitation, a process developed at the University of Birmingham by Professor Rex Harris, as a cost-effective and efficient way of extracting rare earth magnets from redundant or broken products. Hydrogen preferentially enters the rare earth metal, and causes an expansion in volume. The structure cannot cope with such a large volume expansion and 'decrepitates' as grains break away from the material forming a fine powder. A safe mixture of hydrogen and inert gas at a low pressure causes magnets to decrepitate within a few hours. The de-magnetized alloy is then removed by screening and can be reprocessed directly back into new magnets as an alloy powder.