Nissan wants to use electric car engines
Nissan wants to use electric car engines

Nissan and Waseda University announced that they have begun testing a jointly developed recycling process in Japan that can efficiently recover high-purity rare earth compounds from electric vehicle magnets.

The goal of the test is to bring the new procedure into practice by mid-2020. The auto industry is working hard to promote electrification of cars to tackle climate change and achieve a climate neutral society.

Most electric car motors use neodymium magnets, which contain rare earth metals such as neodymium and dysprosium.

It is important to limit the use of rare earths, as extraction and refining are harmful to the environment and changes in the balance of supply and demand can lead to price fluctuations for producers and consumers.

In order to use rare and precious resources more efficiently, Nissan has been working since 2010 to reduce the content of heavy rare earth elements in engine magnets due to the design.

In addition, Nissan recovers rare earth minerals by removing magnets from engines that do not meet production standards and returning them to suppliers.

Several steps are currently being followed including manual disassembly and removal. Therefore, developing a simpler and more economical process is very important in order to achieve more recycling in the future.

Nissan wants to use electric car engines

The company has been collaborating with Waseda University, which has a proven research track record in the field of non-ferrous metals recycling and smelting, since 2017.

In March 2020, the collaboration succeeded in developing a thermoplastic extraction process that did not require engine disassembly.

Tests have shown that this process can recover 98% of the rare earth elements in the engine.

Compared with the previous method, this method also reduces the recovery process and working time by about 50%, since the magnet does not need to be removed or taken out and disassembled.

Waseda and Nissan continue to conduct large-scale installation tests with the goal of developing practical applications.

The company is taking back recycled electric vehicle engines and continuing to develop the recycling system.

As part of its efforts towards a sustainable society, the company will continue to contribute to building a cleaner, safer and more inclusive society.

Through its Green 2022 plan, the company is addressing four priority issues: climate change, resource dependence, air quality and water scarcity.

The company continues to strive for CO2 neutrality and forego new material resources. At the same time, encourage the use and recycling of electric vehicles and reduce the use of economic factors.

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