Published June 1, 2023 | Version v1
Project deliverable Open

PASSENGER D4.8 - Environment, health and safety of the PASSENGER value chains – R1

  • 1. Smart Waste Engineering


This document contains the main results from task 4.8 of the PASSENGER project about the health and safety issue for permanent magnet production.
D 4.8 is the eighth deliverable of WP4 focused on the safety analysis of permanent magnets (PM) production. During each manufacturing process involving chemicals, potential health, safety and environmental (HSE) hazards must be identified, analysed, and managed as early as possible to avoid negative consequences (higher risks and costs).
Needs are growing to include these aspects in every decision-making process development. For these reasons, specific studies have been performed to evaluate the production processes of magnets, also considering this point of view according to D4.1. The main scope was to compare the manufacturing process of PM with rare earths (REE) and those without them of interest to the Passenger project.
The document describes the production processes of sintered and bonded magnets, more in detail, Neodymium magnets and ferrites.
The safety studies are carried out for the first type, i.e., sintered magnets, and the differences between rare-earth-based and non-rare earth-sintered magnets are highlighted.
The HSE assessment includes different approaches following available data about the processes.
The first study is on the inherent hazards of chemicals using the information in MSDSs and considering the European CLP classification. A preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) was performed, followed by an innovative method, HAZard and OPerability analysis (HAZOP), integrated by HSE (HAZOP-HSE).
In existing HAZOP and safety integrity level (SIL), process-related risks are considered, and those for workers are neglected. Instead, HSE engineering depicts a detailed design directly related to operator safety, disregarding human risks. The HAZOP-HSE technique combines the two to integrate information better. In more detail, HSE-HAZOP is a technique that can be used to examine the systematic and efficient application of HSE engineering by leveraging the HAZOP methodical risk analysis technique and a quantitative risk derivation method, an advantage of SIL.
In the first step, the common manufacturing processes of permanent magnets were described for neodymium magnets and ferrites magnets.
In the second phase, the ILPEA process for ferrite powder production was presented. After safety studies were carried out on the processes described above.
Regarding the results obtained, producing a permanent Nd-Fe-B magnet certainly carries higher health risks for the workers involved than producing a ferrite magnet, although in both cases, it is good to maintain appropriate precautions. The most significant risks are related to flammability (e.g., reactivity of rare-earths) and the production processes themselves (e.g. hydrogen-assisted methods), which use chemicals, such as acids, that are more hazardous to health and more polluting than the substances used in the ferrite production cycle.
Therefore, it can be argued that the safety and health of workers can be an additional strength, in addition to those previously presented, of Rare Earth Free magnets at the expense of those that use rare earths instead and that the line taken by the project to replace this second category of magnets is also a viable solution from the point of view of production process safety. Future studies will focus on studying the safety of bonded and MnAlC magnets' production processes.


This deliverable is currently under review by the European Commission.


D4.8_PASSENGER_Validation ICA.pdf

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PASSENGER – Pilot Action for Securing a Sustainable European Next Generation of Efficient RE-free magnets 101003914
European Commission