CMI Technologies with Cobalt and Lithium

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CMI researchers have created many invention disclosures and filed dozens of patent applications. This page lists technologies related to cobalt and lithium, which also are on the complete list of CMI invention disclosures. These are available for licensing. For CMI technology transfer, licensing or commercial inquiries, please contact Stacy Joiner at the Ames Laboratory 515-294-5932 or

  • Method for Manufacturing of Samarium Cobalt and Neodymium Iron Boride Magnets
    Patent application filed
    A method for manufacturing high coercivity samarium cobalt and neodymium iron boride magnets that is compatible with additive manufacturing and requires no polymer binder. Samarium cobalt oxide and neodymium iron boride particles are the feedstock for the magnet, which can be deposited into near-net shape parts using additive manufacturing techniques such as electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The innovative part of the process is the critical conversion of these oxide nanoparticles which have been deposited into near net-shape parts directly to permanent magnets using calcium vapor during annealing.
  • Stabilization of Magnetic Soft Phase in a Hard Magnetic Matrix
    To develop a super-strong magnet with high energy density (energy product) is essential for reducing volume of magnets and electronic devices for highly efficiently energy conversions. This super-strong magnet needs to have a large magnetic coercively and remnant magnetization, giving the optimum energy product, (BH)max. Conventional hard magnets, especially those based on SmCo alloys, have very high coercivity, but modest magnetization values. This innovation increases magnetic remanence without sacrificing the coercivity; the hard magnet should be coupled with a soft magnetic soft phase with high remnant magnetization.
  • SmCo5-based compounds doped with Fe and Ni for high-performance permanent magnets
    Provisional Patent Application Filed
    This innovation substitutes some amount of Co by Fe in SmCo5 magnets, which stabilizes the Sm(Co1-xFex)5 magnets and helps to produce a large energy product.
  • Cerium, Cobalt and Copper Alloy doped with Tantalum and/or Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Provisional Patent Application Filed
    A series of 1:5-type cerium, cobalt and copper alloys doped with Iron and Ta which retain or/and improve magnetic characteristics of typical 1 :5-type isotropic permanent magnets and represent a more economical and more favorable alternative to Sm-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a "GAP MAGNET" that utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce, which is a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, which makes the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent, and yet successfully performs within the niche of energy products that exists between present-day low-flux and high-flux magnets. 
  • Cerium - Cerium-rich – Rare Earth, Cobalt and Magnesium Alloy doped with Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Patent application filed
    A series of 1:3-type cerium, cerium-rich rare earth cobalt and magnesium alloys doped with iron that retain and/or improve magnetic characteristics of typical commercial high-flux isotropic permanent magnets and represent economically more favorable alternative to rare-earth-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a Co-lean “GAP MAGNET” that also utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce as a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, making the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent.
  • One Step Synthesis Process for the Preparation of Samarium-Cobalt Alloy Powder and Nickel-Cobalt Alloy Powder
    Patent application filed
    An new manufacturing process to prepare samarium-cobalt and nickel-cobalt alloy powders for a variety of purposes. The processes uses the electrochemical co-reduction of mixed oxides in a molten salt electrolytic bath. The alloy powder, after removal of the adherent salt, can be directly used for the fabrication of magnets into desired shapes. The actual experimental process involves (i) soaking the mixed oxides in molten calcium chloride salt and (ii) initiating the subsequent reduction of the oxide(s) by applying a suitable potential.
  • SmCo5-based Compounds Doped with Fe and Ni for High-Performance Permanent Magnets
    Patent application filed
    The innovation is based on SmCo5 (in the hexagonal CaCu5-type structure) with three non-equivalent atomic sites: Sm1-(1a), Co1-(2c), Co2-(3g) with 6 atoms per formula unit. More generally, the invention comprises specific distribution of Co, Fe, and Ni atoms in transition metal (TM) 2c and 3g nonequivalent atomic sites.
  • Electrochemical Separation System for the Efficient Co-recycle of Li from Li Ion Batteries
    This technology aims to include an electrochemical process as key element in the hydrometallurgical recovery of value metals (i.e. Co, Mn, and Li) from Li ion batteries. This concept consists in the inclusion of an electrochemical separation step based on the use of a selective membrane and a re-generable carbon source for the production of high purity Li2CO3.
  • Reengineered Sorbents for Li Extraction from Ambient Temperature Geothermal Brine
    LiCl.2Al(OH)3.nH2O, LDH has been identified as an effective sorbent for selective extraction of lithium from brines.  However, LDH is suitable for only high temperature (possibly 80-125 °C) brine solution. Our concept is to use novel type sorbents in a column extraction.
  • Selective Recovery and Concentration of Lithium Chloride with Composite Membranes
    Patent application filed
    The membrane-based selective Li extraction and concentration can potentially address the issue of recovering Li from geothermal brines with a lithium/aluminum layered double hydroxide-based sorption system that requires further concentration, which concentrates both the desired elements and undesirable impurities.
  • Lithium Extraction from Geoghermal Brine Solutions via Nanoengineered Polymer Composite Sorbent Bead
    The invention relates to a lithium sorbent for extracting lithium.
  • A Novel Bio-Based Material for Rare Earth Element Separation
    Patent application filed
    A bio-based rare earth element separation technology consisting of lanthanide binding tag-displayed E. coli and/or C. crescentus cells encapsulated within a polymer matrix and used as a column chromatography resin that enables a continuous flow system for the separation of individual REEs from aqueous REE-containing feedstocks. 
  • Recycling of Additively Printed Rare-Earth Bonded Magnets
    An efficient and environmentally benign method of recycling additively printed Nd−Fe−B polymer bonded magnets. The recycled magnets show increase in remanence and saturation magnetization with minimal degradation in coercivity, and energy product that is comparable with additively printed bonded magnets. Method enables direct reuse of bonded magnets, including those derived from additive manufacturing processes, for making new bonded magnets with promising mechanical and magnetic properties.
  • Method to Fabricate High-Density and Strength Magnetic Alloy 
    Patent application filed
    Proposed concept to design, develop, and implement a scalable manufacturing process to fabricate Fe with 6 percent Si steel with high magnetization, high electrical resistivity, high permeability and low coercivity. The proposed process uses manufacturing methods to print near net-shape Fe-Si magnets.
  • Reactive Matrix Infiltration of Powder Preforms
    Patent application filed
    Method to use reactive liquid material to infiltrate particle preforms. The reactive material will form an interfacial bond with the structure produced from bound particles during or following infiltration. This bond will lead to increased coherency between the particle and infiltrant matrix. Increased coherency will result in further improved strength and structure uniformity. Infiltration will be performed above the infiltrant materials melting point but below the melting point of the powder preform material.
  • Fine Grain Structures for Tough Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and Production Therefor
    Develop fine grain structures for rare earth permanent magnets and their production methods. Relates to refined grain structures with significantly enhanced flexural strength or fracture toughness while maintaining or with a minimum sacrifice in the hard magnetic properties. The novel tough magnets will be more robust for energy applications, more effective for the use of critical materials while reducing the pressure on critical material supply chain. This invented technology is cost-effective, and also compatible with the existing manufacturing processes so that it can be readily adopted by the industry.
  • Chemical Formulation to Leach Palladium Bearing Materials
    Patent application filed
    Method can operate at room temperature and shows rates that are similar to those performed at much higher temperatures to recover palladium from catalysts and electronic devices.
  • Recovery of Cobalt from End-of-Life Lithium Batteries with Supported Membrane Solvent Extraction
    Cobalt is a critical material, substantially and increasingly used in the lithium ion batteries, which are considered as an important secondary resource for the extraction and recovery of cobalt. The recycling and reuse of the cobalt from lithium ion batteries is important for the sustainability of the clean energy industry.
  • New High Performance Magnet - Zr and Fe-alloyed Ce2Co17
    Novel solution to the use of rare earth elements in the composition of strong permanent magnets. The invention provides a high performance magnet using abundant non-critical elements to allow for the generation of magnetic anisotropy without neodymium, samarium or dysprosium.
  • Selective Extraction of Lithium from Hot Leachate Sulfate Stream Through a Precipitation Process 
    The invention provides a method to selectively extract lithium from leachate solution.
  • Selective Extraction of Lithium from Lithium Containing Brines
    The invention provides a method for extracting lithium from lithium containing solutions.
  • Discovery of Sm 0.5 Ce 0.5 Co 4 Cu: Permanent magnet with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo 5
    New permanent magnet compositions with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo5, which provide cheaper and stable gap magnet.