“From your computer to maglev trains, from power tools to MRI scanners, rare Earth permanent magnets are all around us. Modern life without them is difficult so their importance can’t be overstated. However, extracting the rare Earth elements that make them is often laborious and energy-consuming. Scientists have been looking for a better way – and thanks to a machine learning algorithm, they might have found it.

Company Materials Nexus, together with researchers at the Henry Royce Institute and the University of Sheffield, have developed MagNex. This is a permanent magnet that is free of rare earth elements. The MagNex is reported to have been produced with materials that cost one-fifth of regular permanent magnets. The new magnet also saw a reduction of 70 percent in carbon emissions (in terms of kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of material) compared to rare-Earth permanent magnets.”

From IFLScience.