Cyclic Materials accepting turbine generators and MRI machines

Emily Atkins / Waste & Recycling
February 28, 2024

Cyclic Materials has expanded its operations in Kingston, Ontario, to accept two new feedstock streams: wind turbine generators and MRI machines.

The company said it has already sourced 37 MW capacity of wind turbine generators containing permanent magnets, and 116,000 pounds of MRI machines. With this addition, the company is moving beyond automotive components and other permanent magnet-containing products into other end-of-life products.

Cyclic Materials’ proprietary Mag-Xtract and hydrometallurgy technologies can isolate magnets from any end-of-life product and then convert this magnet feedstock to mixed rare earth oxides, cobalt-nickel hydroxides and other raw materials.

Both wind turbine generators and MRI machines contain valuable materials such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, terbium and copper. While the recycling of metals such as aluminum, steel and copper in wind turbines is common, current recycling methods are unable to recover valuable rare earth elements (REEs) found in the generators, the largest of which can contain close to 10 metric tonnes of REEs. These elements are essential components in the development of electric vehicles, smartphones and other technologies.

“MRIs and wind turbines bring incredible opportunities to recover critical commodities essential to the energy transition,” said Ahmad Ghahreman, CEO and co-founder of Cyclic Materials.

“Manufacturers, developers and stakeholders across metals supply chains must recognize the importance of creating a circular supply chain – not only to reduce dependence on offshore sources and increase resilience, but to slash the environmental impact of the industry. Our magnet-agnostic recycling technology extracts valuable critical metals from end-of-life products and feeds these commodities back into North American and European supply chains.”

Operating from its pilot facility in Kingston, Cyclic Materials is processing feedstock at a capacity of 8,000 metric tonnes per year.

It is looking for additional sources for end-of-life wind turbine generators, MRI machines and other materials such as automotive parts and manufacturing waste. In the coming years, Cyclic Materials is expanding its presence with multiple facilities in North America and Europe.

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