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Bringing production of rare earth elements back to the United States

Bringing production of rare earth elements back to the United States


ReElement Technologies licenses Purdue's key mineral refining technology and plans to begin production in late 2024

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Reelement Technologies announced Thursday (April 18) that it will use Purdue University's patented technology to domestically refine and market minerals essential to manufacturing the latest high-tech products for commercial and industrial use. Signed an exclusive license to use.

The license was signed during the Purdue Innovates Startup and Technology Expo 2024 held at the Purdue University Memorial Union.

Sourcing rare earths and critical battery elements

Rare earth elements are the basic essential elements of permanent magnets used in hard drives, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and many other advanced applications. Key battery elements such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese drive advanced energy initiatives through battery technology.

Mark Jensen, CEO of ReElement, said most rare earths and battery elements are currently sourced from foreign countries, particularly China.

“This is problematic for two reasons,” Jensen said. “First, not having a fully controlled supply chain raises national security concerns. Second, traditional mining processes used in foreign countries are outdated and require a huge It's causing a lot of pollution.”

Efforts to bring production of rare earths and battery elements back to the United States have not been successful because of lower labor costs abroad, Jensen said.

Reelement President Ben Wrightsman said the company relies on China for secondary uses and even refining of rare earth elements.

“Rare earths are used all over the world, but almost every road goes through China and back to China,” Wrightsman said. “It is essential to secure a global ecosystem and establish sophisticated supply chains with independent and limited sources and single dependencies.”

Wrightsman said this partnership and technology deployment with Purdue will ensure the United States gains the independence it needs when it comes to rare earths and critical minerals.

Purdue Rare Earth Innovations

Purdue Institute of Technology researcher Nianhua “Linda” Wang led a team that developed an innovative technology to separate and purify rare earths and battery elements from a variety of sources, including ores, industrial waste, and recycled magnets. I am leading. Mr. Wang is the Dr. Norman and Dr. Jane Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering in Purdue's Davidson School of Chemical Engineering.

This innovation improves on current industrial methods by using significantly less electricity, water and harmful chemicals, while creating nearly zero waste. It also has higher extraction yields, higher purity, smaller footprint, and higher efficiency than traditional industrial methods for sourcing rare earths and battery elements.

About licensing and commercialization

ReElement first licensed Wang's rare earth element technology from the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization in 2021. The license agreement signed on April 18 significantly expands the field of use, allowing the company to separate and refine rare earths and battery elements from any raw material.

The company has developed a commercial-scale process based on Purdue's technology. The company is building its first commercial facility in Marion, Indiana, and will initially employ 40 to 60 people, with plans to eventually grow to more than 250 full-time employees on site. Production of rare earth elements and the company's first sales are expected to begin in the second half of 2024.

what they are saying

Mark Jensen, CEO of ReElement Technologies: “ReElement and Purdue technologies make finite resources and their associated supply chains more limitless and independent. essential to support.”

said Dan Hasler, Founder and President of Hasler Ventures LLC. “Our economy and national security are completely dependent on isolated and refined rare earth metals that are produced almost exclusively in China. We need to get serious about building this, and this technology seems to make that possible.”

Linda Wang, Norman, and Jane Lee, professors of chemical engineering at Purdue University: “My students and I are excited that Reelement Technologies is bringing to market this method of separating and purifying rare earths and battery elements. The impact will be felt not only in industry, but also in people who care about the environment, from the Department of Engineering to the Purdue Office of Innovation and Technology Commercialization to funders at the state and federal level. It took many years to develop this technology, but it is ready for the next big leap into commercialization.”

Brooke Beier, Senior Vice President, Purdue Innovates: “ReElement's success story in commercializing technology discovered by Purdue Innovates demonstrates how Purdue Innovates supports efforts to strengthen university researchers, industry, and national security. Another example of how our team works with lead inventor Linda Wang to vet and protect her intellectual property and works with ReElement leadership to bring it to market. and impacted Indiana's economic development with new jobs.”

About Reelement Technologies

ReElement Technologies is committed to leading the national supply chain for rare earth and battery elements in the electrified economy. The company believes that its patented chromatographic separation and purification offers a low-cost, scalable alternative to existing environmentally and ethically hazardous alternatives used worldwide for the separation and purification of rare earths and critical elements. It has proven to be a flexible, flexible and environmentally safe alternative.

About Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among major research universities in the United States. Services provided by this office support Purdue University's economic development efforts and benefit the University's academic activities through the commercialization, licensing, and protection of Purdue intellectual property. property. In fiscal year 2023, the agency reported that 150 transactions involving 203 technologies were concluded, 400 disclosures were received, and 218 U.S. patents were issued. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which won him the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue 3rd in the nation for startup creation and top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation established to advance the mission of Purdue University. For more information, please contact [email protected].

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution that exemplifies excellence at scale. Ranked among the top 10 public universities and two in the nation's top four, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge at a quality and scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study in a variety of ways and locations at Purdue, including her nearly 50,000 students who study in person at the West Lafayette campus. With a focus on affordability and accessibility, Purdue's main campus has frozen tuition for the 13th consecutive year. See how Purdue University continues its relentless pursuit of its next big leaps, including Indianapolis' first integrated urban campus, the new Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes at https://www.purdue . Education/President/Strategic Initiatives.

Writer/Media Contact: Steve Martin, [email protected]

Source: Mark Jensen, [email protected]

Ben Wrightsman, [email protected]




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