India Education Diary: Ames Laboratory: green rare-earth recycling goes commercial in the US

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Dan Bina, president and CEO of TdVib, discusses rare-earth recycling technology with Critical Materials Institute scientist Ikenna Nlebedim. The licensed commercialization of CMI's recovery process is part of a Small Business Technology Transfer award with the federal government. 

An innovative method of recycling rare earth elements from electronic waste has gone commercial. A team of researchers from the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the Ames Laboratory, developed a novel way to extract rare earth elements (rare earths) from the high-powered magnets in electronic waste (e-waste). Recently, TdVib LLC, a company based out of Boone, Iowa, signed a license agreement for the technology with Iowa State University Research Foundation, which handles patenting and technology transfer activities for Ames Laboratory.

Rare earths are essential ingredients in the magnets that power many technologies people rely on today, such as cell phones, computers, electric vehicles, and wind turbines. Since 1990 supplies of these elements have become limited and recycling them is one way to address their limited availability.

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