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.

Question? Speak to an American Elements engineer at automotive@americanelements.com

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

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