Recycling is one of the most important things you can do to protect the planet – but how is the lead from batteries recycled?
Recycling batteries is the key to ensuring they are disposed of properly and that the planet is kept safe and healthy. Incorrect disposal of lead acid batteries can lead to toxic leaks, and this can cause many issues. Batteries should always go to a recycling plant, not the landfill. But what is the lead recycling process like?
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are rechargeable and are often found in all types of vehicles both for industry and cars and motorbikes. They are important batteries to anybody who drives a vehicle, as they help you to start your car and get to where you’re going each day. These batteries can also store energy for off-grid solar power systems and have other uses, too. However, the batteries do not last forever, as durable as they might be. So what needs to happen to them when they die for good?
Recycling Lead Acid Batteries
These types of batteries are now highly recyclable, and many countries achieve recycling rates of more than 90%. You should never throw them in the bin. The toxic substances used in these batteries can leak out if they hit the landfill, and this will cause all manner of problems. Although the process of recycling lead is laborious, it’s necessary if we are going to ensure safe reuse of materials and a healthier planet. You don’t need to put any of the hard work in yourself – all you need to do is call a lead battery recycling plant to take the battery away, and the rest will be taken care of.
The lead acid battery is first broken apart in a hammer mill, which is a machine designed to do just that to batteries. These pieces are then added to a vat, where the heavy materials fall to the bottom and the plastic floats. Polypropylene is then taken away, and the liquids are drawn off, which leaves only the lead and heavy metals. Each material is then added to a different recycling stream. The sulphuric acid that is found in the battery is used to make fertiliser and detergent.
Lead grids, lead oxide, and other lead parts are cleaned up and heated using a smelting furnace. The molten lead is then poured into an ingot mould, and after a few minutes the impurities float to the top. The impurities are scraped away and the lead in the moulds is left to cool down. They are later removed from the molds and sent to battery manufacturers, where they are melted down again and used to make new batteries. The carbon footprint for this is low and helps to fill the demand.
If you have a lead-acid battery, ensuring you dispose of it correctly is essential for the environment. ECOBAT ensures batteries are be taken away and re-used, keeping dangerous chemicals away from the landfill and helping to repurpose materials.