A Multi-stage Process for Recovery of Neodymium (Nd) and Dysprosium (Dy) from Spent Hard Disc Drives (HDDs)

Erust C., Akcil A. U. , Tuncuk A., Deveci H., Yazici E. Y.

MINERAL PROCESSING AND EXTRACTIVE METALLURGY REVIEW, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/08827508.2019.1692010
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus


Waste electrical and electronic equipments (WEEE or e-waste) are an important source for rare earth elements (REEs). Among various type of WEEE, NdFeB magnets are known for their high content of neodymium (Nd) and dysprosium (Dy). Recovery of REEs from NdFeB magnets is of prime interest for the industry to meet the ever-growing demand for REEs. In this study, some physical and hydrometallurgical approaches including demagnetization, grinding, screening, leaching, precipitation and extraction have been adopted to study the Nd and Dy recovery from spent NdFeB magnets. Various inorganic (HCl, HNO & x2083;, H & x2082;SO & x2084; and aqua regia) and organic reagents (acetic acid and oxalic acid) were tested as lixiviants for leaching of the magnets. As a new approach, the recovery of Nd and Dy in the leaching solution was tested by eliminating the iron by a solution purification process involving precipitation of ferric iron in solution as hydroxide and solvent extraction with ionic liquids (ILs). The comparative studies demonstrated that the extraction efficiency of di-2-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) was higher than trihexyltetradecylphosphonium chloride (CYPHOS (R) IL101) after leaching stage. Nd and Dy were successfully extracted with complete recovery from the optimized system.