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

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 Nanoparticles Cerium Carbonate
Cerium Nitrate Hexahydrate Chromium Sulfate Solution Chromium Wire Cobalt Chromate
Cobalt Chromium Alloy Cobalt Molybdate Cobalt Tungstate Cobalt(II) Chromate
Cobalt(II) Oxide Nanoparticles / Nanopowder Cobalt(II,III) 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 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 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 Vanadium Sulfide Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Nanoparticle Dispersion Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Nanoparticles / Nanopowder
Yttrium Oxide Powder Yttrium Sputtering Target