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  • EU project PASSENGER successfully tests rare-earth-free permanent magnets

EU project PASSENGER successfully tests rare-earth-free permanent magnets


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Left: Rotor with PASSENGER's ferrite material molded onto the shaft. Right: E-scooter powered by Tizona Motors.

  • The PASSENGER project, a European Union-funded project to develop sustainable alternatives to conventional magnets, has achieved a significant milestone with the successful testing of prototypes integrating rare earth-free permanent magnets developed within the project.
  • IMDEA Nanociencia contributed with the development of the improved material used in the rotor magnets of a water pump system.


Madrid, November 13th, 2023. The prototypes, an e-scooter and a water pump system, were assembled using raw materials extracted and processed in Europe. This achievement aligns with the European Commission's Critical Raw Materials Act, addressing the continent's reliance on critical raw materials.

Rare earth elements are essential components of many high-performance magnets, but they are scarce and expensive, and their extraction and processing can have a significant environmental impact. The PASSENGER project aims to develop rare earth-free magnets that are just as efficient as traditional magnets, but without the environmental drawbacks.

The prototypes developed by the PASSENGER project use magnets made from improved strontium ferrite, a powder that can be produced from raw materials widely available in Europe. Project partners IMDEA Nanociencia (Spain) and ILPEA (Italy) worked together in the development of this improved material along with TU Darmstadt (Germany) and Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia). The magnets were fabricated by Kolektor (Slovenia) and Ingeniería Magnética Aplicada (Spain) and integrated into the rotor of the final products by WILO (Germany) for the water pump system and by Tizona Motors (Spain) for the e-scooter.

PASSENGER (Pilot Action for Securing a Sustainable European Next Generation of Efficient RE-free magnets) is a project funded by the European Union (under grant agreement no. 101003914) that aims to resolve Europe’s dependence on rare earth elements imports for permanent magnets fabrication. Over the four years, the project will develop innovative technology to produce permanent magnets without rare earth materials, using only resources that are widely available in Europe. This innovation will foster a renaissance in the European production of permanent magnets, securing the supply chain for materials that are essential for electronic vehicles and pump motors, and promoting the transition to low-carbon mobility.

eu passenger

More information:

You can learn more about the PASSENGER project by visiting the project website: https://passenger-project.eu.


ESF Press Office
media @esf.org

Communication and Dissemination Office at IMDEA Nanociencia
divulgacion.nanociencia [at]imdea.org
Twitter: @imdea_nano
Facebook: @imdeananociencia
Instagram: @imdeananociencia

Source: ESF.


Related information:
IMDEA Nanociencia investigates the critical materials that Europe needs https://nanociencia.imdea.org/home-en/news/item/imdea-nanociencia-investigates-the-critical-materials-that-europe-needs