Environmental topics

Tapping into Hidden Deposits of Rare Earth Elements Found in Cities

Recycling Rare Earth Magnets from Air Conditioners

The stable procurement of rare earth metals has become one of the most pressing tasks facing industry today. In 2012, the Mitsubishi Electric Group developed a system that can efficiently recover rare earth magnets used in the compressors of household room air conditioners and began recycling this precious commodity. Below, we will answer the who, what, when, where, why and how of it to discover the importance of rare earth recycling and the future potential it offers.

Updated Mar 2014

Contents

Why Should Rare Earth Elements Be Recycled?

  • There Are Not Enough Rare Earth Elements for Cutting-Edge Industries

What Is the Mitsubishi Electric Group Doing to Recycle Rare Earth Elements?

  • Recovering Rare Earth Magnets From End-of-Lifecycle Room Air Conditioners

How Are Rare Earth Magnets Being Recycled?

  • Newly Developed Automatic Dismantling Equipment Removes and Recovers Rare Earth Magnets in Just 30 Seconds

Where Are Rare Earth Magnets Being Recovered From?

  • An Efficient Recovery System has been Built into an Existing Recycling Line

Who Is Involved in the Rare Earth Recycling Business?

  • This Business Involves not Only Mitsubishi Electric Group Companies, but Magnet Manufacturers as well

When Will Rare Earth Recycling Start to Become Widespread?

  • Over the Next Couple of Decades, as Part of Initiatives Aimed at Achieving Japan's National Target of Being 50% Self-Sufficient in terms of Rare Earth Elements by the Year 2030