Securing Critical Rare Earth Magnets for the UK Supply Chain


NdFeB magnets play a critical role in the fight against climate change as they are used in clean technologies such as wind turbines generators and motors in electric vehicles. As we transition to an electrically driven society then the demand for these materials will increase almost exponentially.

The supply of these materials is geographically concentrated in certain parts of the globe and these materials have been identified as being of greatest supply risk compared to all other energy related materials by the EU.

The aim of SCREAM is to provide a UK based supply of these materials by recycling magnets from end of life scrap. HyProMag, Mkango Rare Earths UK, GKN Automotive, European Metal Recycling, Jaguar Land Rover, Bowers and Wilkins and the University of Birmingham will work together in the SCREAM project to secure critical permanent magnets for the UK.

The SCREAM consortium will demonstrate two innovative paths to introduce scrap material back into the rare earth supply chain. The first is to scale up a process developed at the University of Birmingham, “Hydrogen Processing of Magnetic Scrap” from automotive, robotic, separator, loudspeaker scrap streams. The second is to produce a mixed rare earth carbonate for the rare earth supply chain.

HyProMag will scale this process to develop magnets that are different grades for a range of applications. Bowers and Wilkins, GKN Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover will assess the suitability of the magnets for a range of products, and calculate the environmental footprint for production of these materials. The output of the project will be motors, loudspeakers and holding magnet applications containing recycled magnets.

The SCREAM project is funded by the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge, delivered by Innovate UK for UK Research and Innovation.  It started in March 2022 and will last for 3 years.