Image courtesy of Pxhere

Image courtesy of Pxhere

By XiaoZhi Lim
IEEE Spectrum

Late last year, Google received six hard disk drives from Seagate: brand new, save for their rare-earth magnets. The magnets had already spent one life in Google’s data centers and were headed for a second one.

The proof-of-concept experiment is one of five projects under a global initiative to examine the feasibility of recovering and reusing material from retired hard disk drives (HDDs). The program itself is a long-term effort organized by the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), with project team members from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute. The results from all five projects will be summarized in a forthcoming report.

 

Continue reading at IEEE Spectrum. Originally published on March 13, 2019.

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