Representatives from a wide, multidisciplinary consortium gathered on 11 May 2021 to kick off PASSENGER, an ambitious project funded by the European Union via the climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials work programme.
The project, coordinated by the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA Nanociencia) counts on a total budget of 11.3 million euros, of which 8.9 million euros are granted by the European Union.
Addressing Europe’s lack of access to critical raw materials
The lack of sustainable access to several critical raw materials is one of the most serious challenges faced by the European Raw Materials sector. Permanent magnets are one of the most vulnerable categories. These magnets are critical components in technologies that are crucial to Europe’s energy and transport sustainability such as, electric vehicles, wind turbines, aerospace, medical equipment, and a multitude of domestic appliances.
PASSENGER aims to develop innovative pilot plants to address this aspect of high economical, technological, social and environmental relevance, and to find a solution for the EU dependency on rare-earth raw materials for permanent magnets.
Considering the importance of permanent magnets in present and emerging technologies, PASSENGER will develop scaled alternatives based on resources widely available in Europe and innovative technologies. The project aims to develop a sustainable substitution model in permanent magnets subdivided in 8 innovative pilot plant activities covering the complete value chain and including electromobility as a main key-driving sector. The choice of materials is based on existing research and technological development achieved by the partners in the frame of previous successful EU-funded projects.
A multidisciplinary consortium covering the whole permanent magnets value chain
The multidisciplinary PASSENGER consortium consists of 20 partners including key end users and 14 companies from 8 EU countries. It involves major European industries, academic leaders and associations occupied with permanent magnets manufacturing, alloy production, powder fabrication, electric motors, e-vehicles, eco-design and product/process standardisation. In this way, PASSENGER is able to cover the whole magnets production value chain, from studying fundamental properties to the production of high-technology end products, while aiming at making the transition from a linear to a circular model involving citizens, international platforms and relevant stakeholders.
The PASSENGER project will run for four years, from 2021 to 2025.