Resilient NdFeB magnet recycling under the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic: Stochastic programming and Benders decomposition

Meysam Cheramin, Apurba Kumar Saha, Jianqiang Cheng, Sanjoy Kumar Paul, Hongyue Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets are the most powerful magnets per unit volume sold in the commercial market. Despite the increasing demand for clean energy applications such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, disruptive events including the COVID-19 pandemic have caused significant uncertainties in the supply and demand for NdFeB magnets. Therefore, this study aims to alleviate the risk of supply shortage for NdFeB magnets and the containing critical materials, rare-earth elements (REEs), through the development of a resilient reverse supply chain and logistics network design. We develop scenarios to model the unique impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the proposed business, incorporating both disruption intensity and recovery rate. We formulate a chance-constrained two-stage stochastic programming model to maximize the profit while guaranteeing the network resiliency against disruption risks. To solve the problem in large-scale instances, we develop an efficient Benders decomposition algorithm that reduces the computational time by 98.5% on average compared to the default CPLEX algorithm. When applied to the United States, the model suggests the optimal facility locations, processing capacities, inventory levels, and material flows for NdFeB magnet recyclers that could meet 99.7% of the demand. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to incorporate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to design a resilient NdFeB magnet recycling supply chain and logistics network, leveraging risk-averse stochastic programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102505
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Benders decomposition
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Rare earth magnet
  • Reverse logistics
  • Stochastic programming
  • Supply chain optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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