LowREEMotors - Rare earth reduction in high performance permanent magnet electric machines

Neodymium (Nd) magnets provide the highest torque densities to electric motors. However, Nd is considered a critical material for Europe because the demand will exceed the production in the following years and the production is not in Europe.

The LowREEMotors project aims at reducing the neodymium-dependence of Europe by developing magnets that will partially substitute some of the Nd for less critical materials like cerium (Ce). Ce substituted magnets have less magnetic performance than Nd magnets. Therefore electrical motors need to be redesigned to compensate for the new magnetic properties. The motor redesign will start from the alloy formulation, followed by shaping the magnet by powder injection moulding (PIM), all the way to modifications to the motor components.  

LowREEMotors will develop permanent magnets with 10% less Nd and other rare earth elements (REE). The consortium will combine a strong expertise in machine design of Mondragon University and Valeo, as well as a full expertise in PIM feedstock development of Montanuniversitaet Leoben and magnet manufacturing of CEA, and Magneti Ljubljana. Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven will perform the life cycle assessment to determine the environmental impact of the new magnets and machines. 

 About the Projekt 

Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa S. Coop. (Mondragon University) –Spain (Lead)
Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) –France
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (KU Leuven) –Belgium
Magneti Ljubljana d.d. – Slovenia
Valeo Powertrain Systems – France

Duration: 2020-2022

Funding: EIT RawMaterials Project Agreement No. 19120