Characterization and recovery of rare earth elements from electronic scrap
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The rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements consisting of the lantahnide series, scandium and yttrium. The application with the largest rare earth consumption is the permanent rare earth magnets. The neodymium-iron-boron magnets are the strongest permanent magnetic material known and are widely used. There is a concern that there will be a shortage in Nd-Fe-B magnets in short time. This has lead to an increased interest in the recycling of the rare earth magnets in the world.This project gives a very brief introduction to the Nd-Fe-B magnets, their uses and recycling. Two types of experiments that aims at recovery of neodymium from Nd-Fe-B magnets have been performed; extraction of neodymium by the use of molten silver and extraction of neodymium by direct oxidation. In the liquid silver experiments, extraction was obtained, but the analysis gave equivocal results. In the direct oxidation experiment, the separation of an iron phase and a neodymium oxide phase failed, and the experiment was not seen as successful.Magnetic waste from WEEE Recycling was also performed, and it turned out to contain small amounts of rare earth elements.