Re-engineering permanent magnets for the green transition (GREENE)

Rare-earth element (REE) permanent magnets based on Neodymium Iron Boron (Nd-Fe-B) are vital components of high-tech products enabling a green energy future. They are highly valued due to their outstanding properties. They are complex materials consisting of multiple phases and their overall performance is determined by a high remanence, reflected in magnet strength, and a high intrinsic coercivity, making them resistant to demagnetization. Their maximum energy product is thus composed of both remanence and coercivity.

The need to operate at temperatures over 100 °C in applications like traction motors in electric vehicles means that a high coercivity is usually prioritised over a high remanence, which negatively affects power output linked to remanence. In conventionally sintered magnets, NdFeB grains are microscopic and the regions between the grains are called grain boundaries. When exposed to a demagnetizing force, demagnetization begins at the grain interfaces with the grain-boundary phase before rapidly spreading, influencing the magnet’s coercivity.

This is where GREENE comes in: GREENE partners aim to push the boundaries of material science by developing Single-Grain Re-Engineered Nd- Fe-B permanent magnets with a new grain-boundary interface, thus allowing for a reduction of REE content. The new GREENE magnets will be more resource-efficient, offering a roughly 20% increase in coercivity, 10% in remanence, and 20% in overall maximum energy product.

As a first step, novel grain boundaries and interfaces will be created using micromagnetic simulations and computational thermodynamics. Following an initial testing phase, the technology will then be applied to isolated grains from recycled and fresh streams to develop a new form of Nd-Fe-B magnet. By the end of the project, the magnet manufacturing system will be set up in an actual operational setting.

To achieve this ambitious undertaking, 15 European partners with outstanding expertise in their respective fields have joined forces, including leading material scientists, magnet manufacturers and recyclers, lifecycle analysis experts as well as end user representatives. Several of them have already cooperated in predecessor projects like SUSMAGPRO, INSPIRES and REEsilience. The project is coordinated by the Slovenian Jožef Stefan Institute.

As a project partner, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is responsible for outreach and cooperation with related projects, development of uptake-, business and industrialisation strategies for results beyond project end as well as support with administrative and financial project management.

Further Information:

  • Project name acronym: GREENE
  • Funding: European Commission, Programme Horizon Europe, Grant Agreement #101129888
  • Funding budget for all partners: 8 M EUR
  • Countries involved: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine
  • Project duration: 06/2024 - 05/2028

View project

Further links


REEsilience Project


rare earths, neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB), rare earth magnets, permanent magnets, critical raw materials, renewable energy, e-vehicles, wind turbines, green energy, geopolitical tensions, dependency, remanence, coercivity, demagnetisation, traction motors, sintered magnets, grains, grain boundaries, Single-grain, resource-efficiency, micromagnetic, recycling, lifecycle, SUSMAGPRO, INSPIRES and REEsilience, sustainable industry, sustainability

Contact us!

Eva Kopf
Maëva Pratlong
Contact us

Contact us!

Eva Kopf
Maëva Pratlong

Customer references