Nissan Develops New Recycling Technology for EV Motors

Image: CNET

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan Motor has started testing a more efficient and less costly process of recovering high-purity, rare-earth metals used in magnet motors for electric vehicles (EVs), with practical application targeted for mid 2020s.

Working in collaboration with Tokyo-based Waseda University – noted for its research in non-ferrous recycling and smelting – the process involves a new recycling technology that recovers rare earth compounds without dismantling the motor, halving the cost of the process, and mitigating environmental damage in the supply chain.

Most EVs use scarce rare-earth metals – neodymium and dysprosium – in their magnet motors. The new metallurgy process involves melting a recycled rotor in a furnace of 1,400°C, adding iron oxide and a borate-based flux, respectively oxidizing the rare-earth metals, and allowing the resulting mixtures to be easily separated.

Testing has shown that the process can recover up to 98% of a motor’s rare-earth elements and halves the processing time and recycling cost, according to Senior Manager at Nissan, Kazuhiro Ogawa.

“Reducing the use of rare earths is a key challenge as the resources are unevenly distributed, prices fluctuate depending on supply-demand balance, and the mining and smelting process has an impact on ecosystems,” Ogawa said

Waseda University and Nissan will continue testing at large-scale facilities with the aim of developing practical application for the process by the middle of the decade.

The move comes in the wake of Nissan’s Green Program 2022, which addresses climate change, resource dependency, air quality and water security as the company continues its aim for carbon neutrality.

Energy Capital & Power – Africa’s leading energy event organizer – will host the Africa Energy & Mining 2022 Conference & Exhibition, which will be held in Johannesburg on March 29-31.To learn more about the Africa Energy & Mining series and the post-COVID-19 energy and mining landscape in Africa, please visit www.aem2022.com. For sponsorship or exhibition opportunities, please contact sales@energycapitalpower.com

Share This Article

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a content writing intern at Energy Capital & Power. Currently studying for his master’s degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, he has experience in multiple departments in the South African film industry and is a freelance writer and videographer. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for latest news and event info

Copyright © 2021 Energy Capital & Power. Privacy Policy · Terms of Use