Dec 14, 2015

Recycle and Reuse of Small and Large Rare Earth Magnets

The electronic devices people use daily include headphones, hard drives, mobile devices, electric motors, and countless other items. In addition, you may have possibly upgraded or replaced the devices infinite times. You will find that rare earth magnets are main component in majority of electronic devices.

Small powerful magnets are produced from rare metals found on the surface of the earth. Small magnets from electronic devices can be reused or recycled. Large monster magnets used in industries and laboratory for science experiments are scary. Their reuse can be dangerous and handling them could be hazardous. It is necessary to follow safety guidelines, when you use large ones at home.

Used as garage organizer

Huge disc magnets are best for storing heavy items like shovel, axe, hammer, wrenches, and more large tools. Disc magnets get attracted to metal walls of the garage, or to work bench sides. This helps to keep track of the tools easily. Large disc magnets are very powerful, so removing them from the wall may need assistance.

Attract things

Neodymium block magnets can be used to deliver magnetic properties to a wrench or a screwdriver for picking small metal things like screws or nails. If the block magnet is run for long enough along the metal, it will get magnetized and be capable to pick other objects.

Treasure hunting

Large magnets are best to find treasure underwater or under the ground. It is the best pickup tool to find lost or misplaced things. When on a boat, a huge ring magnet can be tied to a rope and dragged along the sea water bottom to magnetize metal objects.

Magnet placed in plastic bucket and walked around the place help you to find things because you will feel the pull towards the metal things. For questing regarding the safety of large magnets visit
Recycling of rare magnets - Past and present

Rare earth metals are limited in supply, so cannot be found in mass. As they are in very much demand many companies have developed efficient ways to recycle permanent magnets from used products or devices.

In the past, recycling rare magnets was not possible. In addition, it was not environmentally safe. Wide varieties of small or minute elements are used in electronics making it difficult for separating. Actually, mining rare earth metals even if the rock supply is less seems to be easy and less expensive than recycling the used materials. Best solution was to let electronic accumulate in the landfills.

Today, researchers from University of Pennysylvania have developed an effective way of recycling permanent magnets from electronics. The team added ligand a metal bonding molecule to a powdery mixture of dysprosium and neodymium. 

Ligand bonded easily to dysprosium and allowed neodymium molecules to connect with one another. Thus the two elements got separated instantly. This process is extremely cost-effective and instantaneous. The separation method is still being perfected, but is a vast step in the correct direction.
According to 2013 environment report about 49 million e-wastes are produced, every year. This process is the right solution for recycling permanent magnets. 

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