Liten is a major European research institute and a driving force behind the development of the sustainable energy technologies of the future. The institute is spearheading the EU’s efforts to limit dependency on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in three key areas: renewable energy, energy efficiency/storage and development of materials.
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Liten's research teams work across a vast portfolio of renewable energy technologies. Cutting-edge photovoltaic technologies are developed at INES, the French National centre for solar research and R&D with Hydrogen and Biomass activities being managed from the LITEN's main site in Grenoble, Rhone-Alpes.
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News | New technologies
Researchers at Liten, a CEA Tech institute, have developed a process for recycling permanent magnets to recover their rare-earth minerals. The new magnets can contain up to 25% recycled material.
Worldwide demand for permanent magnets is
on the rise, putting pressure on supplies of the rare-earth minerals—like neodymium
and dysprosium—they contain. End-of-life recycling could reduce manufacturers’
dependence on China for these strategic raw materials. Researchers at Liten
recently succeeded in producing magnets containing up to 25% recycled material
that perform as well as those currently on the market.
The researchers used a
dry recycling technique, grinding the used magnets (or magnet manufacturing
waste) and re-injecting the resulting powder into the standard manufacturing process.
They then improved the grinding parameters to obtain a homogeneous powder
(5-micron grains on average) that they mixed in different proportions with new
powder under controlled conditions to protect from oxidation. With 25% recycled
powder they achieved complete densification after sintering and magnetic
properties almost equivalent to a magnet manufactured with new powder alone
(less than 3% loss).
Researchers are now working
to increase the proportion of recycled powder. A strip casting furnace will go
online at CEA Grenoble in September 2015, allowing the researchers to also test
fusion recycling techniques.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.