samples of recycled shredded hard disk drives and elements recovered from them

CMI Project 3.3.13: Recovery of critical materials from dilute electronic waste streams

Principal Researchers

Other Researchers


Denis Prodius at Ames Laboratory leads the CMI project "Recovery of critical materials from dilute electronic waste streams"

This project employs environmentally safe and economic approaches to recover critical materials from e-wastes. Research is currently focused on rare earth elements diluted in magnets contained in hard disk drives (HDDs) but will later be extended to other types of e-wastes, e.g., motors, medical devices, and other system containing critical materials. When and where applicable, other critical materials (e.g., cobalt), contained in the same e-wastes as rare earth elements, are recovered. Ultimately, the project targets elimination of toxic chemicals, minimizing of negative environmental impact and recovery of materials suitable for supply chain.

image of award plaques for R&D 100 Awards
The acid-free dissolution process developed by CMI researchers at Ames Laboratory won two R&D 100 Awards link to DOE news release


CMI researcher Ikenna Nlebedim
At America Recycles: Innovation Fair, CMI researchers shared information about the award-winning acid-free recycling process that they developed at Ames Laboratory. 

Related information:

CMI Webinars - several CMI webinars have been offered related to recycling and to this project

TechConnect Innovation Award

TechConnect Innovation Award
This CMI project was one of three that won a TechConnect Innovation Award in 2019