The SCALEUP program supports the scaling of disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications, ensuring that strategic U.S. energy innovations are well-positioned for commercial deployment and investment from the private sector. Niron’s project was selected by ARPA-E from a competitive pool of energy industry applicants to support the commercialization of its Clean Earth Magnets. The project will expand Niron’s current capacity to sample to customers, accelerating the prototyping and qualification of Clean Earth Magnets in commercial products.
“This SCALEUP grant accelerates our trajectory,” said Andy Blackburn, CEO of Niron Magnetics. “Scaling up key manufacturing processes, increasing prototyping capacity, and partnering with world class device manufacturers work in concert to pull in the schedule for full-scale production.”
Powerful permanent magnets are necessary components of electric vehicle motors, wind turbines, efficient industrial motors, and many other modern technologies essential to the clean energy transition. Today, these magnets rely on rare earth elements. However, rare earth extraction can be environmentally destructive and the supply concentration poses geopolitical and sourcing risk, as 92% of rare earth magnet production is in China. With demand expected to triple by 2035, shortages and price increases are also forecasted.
Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet is a permanent magnet completely free of rare earth elements. Clean Earth Magnets are made from Iron Nitride using widely available commodity raw materials. The result is a powerful, domestically manufacturable, clean material to enable the clean energy transition and ensure supply for all magnet users. At full-scale, just two Niron manufacturing facilities have the potential to enable to 167% of the White House’s 2030 annual electric vehicle goal, or 103% of its 2030 offshore wind goal.
Six leading global manufacturers of devices that rely on magnets have partnered with Niron on the SCALEUP project, spanning various end-use industries. These commercial partners represent the customer perspective, ensuring that Niron’s SCALEUP project meets procurement requirements and feeds into the prototyping and testing programs that precede commercial production. Commercial partners on the project include:
- Volvo Cars, a global automotive OEM with a focus on quality, safety, and care for the environment
- Peerless, Tymphany’s audio components division, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of professional speaker drivers
- Premium Sound Solutions, a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive sound products supplying the majority of premium car brands globally, widely recognized for its product innovation and sustainability ambitions
- Western Digital, a leading global data storage solutions provider that designs and manufactures flash and hard disk drive products for cloud, edge, and consumer markets
- One of the top 5 global power tool OEMs
- One of the top 5 global wind turbine OEMs
“As suppliers of the most demanding audio brands worldwide, we’re always at the forefront of innovation,” said Phil McPhee, VP of Professional Audio & Video at Tymphany. “Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet technology presents an opportunity to take advantage of materials science innovation to offer differentiated environmental sustainability in a speaker driver.”
To learn more about Niron Magnetics and its Clean Earth Magnet technology, please visit https://nironmagnetics.com/.