American Elements supplies raw materials at several stages of the automotive production process. Customers include Toyota, Ford, GM and many other manufacturers as well as many Tier 3 suppliers. We have implemented several QS9000 agreements with manufacturers and participate in LEAN Sigma analysis of production processes. American Elements is in full compliance with REACH in order to meet the needs of our European manufacturers.

American Elements now supplies major other electric and hybrid manufacturers with magnetic and energy storage materials to meet the needs of non-combustion alternative energy vehicles.

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Innovation Case Study #2: American Elements Creates First Rare Earth Recycling Program

#2: American Elements Creates First Rare Earth Recycling Program

The Challenge

The discovery of the neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) high strength permanent magnet by the Delco Remy division of General Motors in the 1980s revolutionized numerous industries from automobiles to medical imaging to aerospace. However, magnet manufacturers began generating large volumes of scrap neodymium iron boron alloy from their production plants. Given the expense of the rare earth bearing alloy and the environmental impact of simply disposing it in a landfill, producers sought some way to recycle this valuable scrap material. Simply re-melting and reusing scrap alloy produced a substandard magnetic material. American Elements was first approached by Mitsubishi Materials of Japan to see if we could develop a process to recover this valuable asset.

The Innovation

American Elements researchers first confirmed that in its present form NdFeB scrap could not be reprocessed to produce an acceptable magnetic alloy. A strategic plan was designed to research if in the alternative a cost effective process could be designed to extract the rare earth components of the alloy for reuse. The alloy also contains valuable dysprosium, so a further challenge was extracting both the neodymium and the dysprosium in a usable form. To meet the needs of this rapidly growing industry, American Elements researchers developed a proprietary inorganic acid-base extraction scheme to recover the neodymium and the dysprosium in a high purity mixed rare earth chloride solution which could be further processed into a mixed rare earth fluoride; the starting material for producing virgin NdFeB alloy. The neodymium and dysprosium could also be separated in the chloride form using solvent extraction.

The Result

After developing the basic technology, American Elements went on to engineer and build a full scale NdFeB magnet scrap reprocessing and rare earth fluoride manufacturing facility producing rare earth fluoride on a commercial scale. This American Elements owned facility has since produced tonnage quantities of recovered neodymium-dysprosium fluoride.

Selected Products Supplied to the Automotive Industry

(5N) 99.999% Germanium(II) Sulfide (5N) 99.999% Tin(IV) Sulfide High Purity Powder (5N) 99.999% Yttrium Oxide 10-2-3 Titanium Alloy
Aluminum Cerium Alloy Aluminum Fluoride Sputtering Target Aluminum Hydroxide Nanoparticles Aluminum Magnesium Alloy
Aluminum Magnesium Powder Aluminum Magnesium Silicon Alloy Aluminum Nickel Alloy Aluminum Nickel Alloy Sputtering Target
Aluminum Paste Aluminum Powder Aluminum Silicon Alloy Aluminum Silicon Magnesium Alloy Powder
Aluminum Silicon Powder Bismuth Nanoparticle Dispersion Bismuth Nanoparticles Bismuth Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion
Bismuth Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Boron Sulfide Carbon Fabric Carbon Nanoparticles
Cerium Carbonate Cerium(III) Nitrate Hexahydrate Chromium Sulfate Solution Chromium Wire
Cobalt Chromate Cobalt Chromium Alloy Cobalt Molybdate Cobalt Oxide Nanoparticles
Cobalt Tungstate Cobalt(II) Chromate Cobalt(II) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Cobalt(III) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder
Copper Nanoparticle Dispersion Copper Nanoparticles Copper Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Copper Powder
Germanium(II) Sulfide Graphite Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Hafnium Carbide Powder Hafnium Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion
Hafnium Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Hastelloy X Powder Inconel 718 Alloy Inconel 718 Powder
Iron Boride Iron Chromium Aluminum Alloy Iron Chromium Aluminum Powder Iron Metal Powder
Iron Nickel Alloy Iron Nickel Powder Iron Silicon Alloy Powder Iron(II) Fluoride
Iron(II,III) Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion Iron(II,III) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Iron(III) Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion Iron(III) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder
Lithium Carbonate Sputtering Target Lithium Coil Lithium Fluoride Powder Lithium Fluoride Sputtering Target
Lithium Hexafluorophosphate Lithium Magnesium Alloy Lithium Pieces Lithium Ribbon
Lithium Sputtering Target Lithium-6 Metal Isotope Magnesium Hexafluorophosphate Magnesium Hydroxide
Magnesium Ingot Magnesium Oxide Powder Magnesium Perchlorate Hexahydrate Magnesium Perchlorate, Anhydrous
Manganese Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion Manganese Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Manganese Oxide Powder Mesocarbon Microbeads
Molybdenum Oxide Nickel Blocks Nickel Chromium Alloy Nickel Chromium Cobalt Alloy
Nickel Chromium Cobalt Powder Nickel Chromium Powder Nickel Fluoride Nickel Foil
Nickel Powder Nickel(III) Oxide Nanoparticle Dispersion Nickel(III) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Niobium Oxide Powder
Palladium Powder Platinum Rhodium Alloy Platinum Rhodium Powder Rhodium Powder
Rhodium(III) Oxide Pentahydrate Silicon Carbide Silicon Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Silicon Sulfide
Silicon Sulfide Sputtering Target Silver Coil Silver Ink Silver Paste
Silver Rhenium Alloy Silver Strip Stainless Steel Nanoparticles Stainless Steel Powder
Tantalum Carbide Powder Tin Blocks Tin Foil Tin Nanoparticle Dispersion
Tin Nanoparticles Tin Powder Titanium Aluminum Vanadium Alloy Titanium Aluminum Vanadium Powder
Titanium Foam Titanium Powder Titanium(IV) Oxide Powder Tungsten Titanium Carbide
Tungsten Wire Vanadium Sulfide Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Nanoparticle Dispersion Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Nanoparticles / Nanopowder
Yttrium Oxide Powder Yttrium Sputtering Target