Bentley aims to deliver breakthrough in rare earth magnet recycling

Three-year research project to establish new recycling process and provide sustainable source of rare earth magnets for non-traction motor applications

Bentley aims to deliver breakthrough in rare earth magnet recycling

Bentley Motors has announced a three-year research study that aims to revolutionise the sustainability of electric motors.

Supporting Bentley’s commitment to offer only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026, the result could see recycled rare-earth magnets used in selected ancillary motors for the very first time.

The study, titled RaRE (Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines), intends to build on work completed at the University of Birmingham in devising a method of extracting magnets from waste electronics.

The project will scale up the process and repurpose the extracted magnetic material into new recyclable magnets for use within bespoke ancillary motors.

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Adding to the sustainability benefits that RaRE will provide, the bespoke motors created through this method promise to minimise complexity through manufacture while supporting the development of the UK supply chain for both mass production and low volume components.

Commenting on Bentley’s research ambitions, Dr. Matthias Rabe, member of the board for engineering at Bentley Motors, said: “As we accelerate our journey to electrification, offering only hybrid or electric vehicles by 2026, and full electric by 2030, it is important that we focus on every aspect of vehicle sustainability, including sustainable methods of sourcing materials and components.

“RaRE promises a step-change in electrical recyclability, providing a source of truly bespoke, low voltage motors for a number of different applications and we are confident the results will provide a basis for fully sustainable electric drives.”

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The study will run in parallel to Bentley’s OCTOPUS research programme which aims to deliver a breakthrough in e-axle electric powertrains, utilising a fully integrated, free from rare-earth magnet e-axle that supports electric vehicle architectures.

Nick Mann, operations general manager at Hypromag, said: “HyProMag’s recycling technologies allow us to produce NdFeB magnets with a much lower embedded carbon cost than using virgin supply and with independence from Chinese supply and we are working closely with our major shareholder Mkango Resources to further grow the business.

“We are proud to be working with established, innovative and renowned companies in the RaRE project with whom we can showcase the technologies of the RaRE project as a whole – recycled magnets being used for cutting edge products in a prestige application.”

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