Environment – Where Are Rare Earth Magnets Being Recovered From?
An Efficient Recovery System has been Built into an Existing Recycling Line
Mitsubishi Electric's subsidiary Green Cycle Systems Corporation (GCS) has been charged with the rare earth magnet recovery process. GCS has been operating Japan's first large-scale, high-purity plastic recycling system business since April 2010. GCS installed the newly developed automatic dismantling equipment on its existing compressor disassembly and recovery line in order to build a seamless recovery system for rare earth magnets.
End-of-lifecycle room air conditioners collected from the market first arrive at the home appliance recycling plant of Mitsubishi Electric subsidiary Hyper Cycle Systems Corporation (HCS) where they are dismantled. HCS sends the removed compressors to GCS, which then recovers the rare earth magnets inside on its dedicated recycling line. These compressors are not only made by Mitsubishi Electric, but a host of other major manufacturers, meaning there are many different shapes and sizes to handle. As a result, we have created a database of compressor types to establish the most optimal method of dismantling and recovering the rare earth magnets from each individual type.