Battery recycling has many advantages which can control or have the aim to reduce the batteries being disposed of in municipal solid waste.
Battery recycling by type
Most types of batteries can be recycled. However, some batteries are recycled more willingly than others, such as button cells and lead-acid automotive batteries and button cells. Rechargeable nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH), lithium-ion (Li-ion), and nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn), can also be recycled. There is currently no cost-neutral recycling option available for replaceable alkaline batteries, though consumer disposal recommendations vary by region.
Lead is the major raw material in a lead-acid storage battery.
The lead-acid battery is recyclable with many advantages attached to it.
Recycling an old battery to reclaim its lead content is not only socially essential but also environmentally required as well.
Recycling lead-acid storage batteries are economical for everyone involved in the value chain.
For promoting the recycling of old batteries, manufacturers have started buybacks of old batteries
Lead-acid storage batteries can be successfully recycled up to 97%. Manufacturers of batteries should be given credit for having organized recycling as business reasons as well as environmental concerns have been the driving force. The recycling process is simple and up to 70% of the lead-acid storage battery’s weight is reusable lead.
Over 40% of the lead supply comes from recycled batteries. Manufacturers along with retailers of batteries are working to make the collection of all batteries convenient resulting in buybacks of batteries.
The goal of recycling is to prevent hazardous materials from entering water bodies, and the environment and to utilize the retrieved materials like lead in the production of new batteries.
Recycling lead-acid batteries are essential and cost-effective as lead is easy to extract and can be reused several times. This led to many profitable businesses like smelters units in India where lead is recycled and recycling of lead is possible.
Generally, recycling batteries is expensive as it takes 6 to 10 times more energy to retrieve metal than the mining of metal but the exception is the lead-acid battery, from which lead can be retrieved easily and reused without a rigorous process.
Silver oxide batteries
This battery is used most frequently in watches, toys, and some silver oxide batteries, medical devices containing a small amount of mercury. Most authorities regulate their disposal and handling to reduce the discharge of mercury into the environment Silver oxide batteries can be recycled to recover the mercury.
Steps of Recycling of lead-acid storage batteries
Pre-Sorting is done for safety reasons and to separate hazardous material. Lead acid is benign but toxic. Recycling starts by sorting batteries into chemistries. Collection centers place lead-acid, into designated drums, sacks, or boxes.
2) Battery identification and labeling
X-ray technologies are used to separate batteries.
Lead-acid is the best battery that can be recycled with profitability. With almost 100% of lead-acid being recycled.
3) Thermal Oxidation
The subsequent process begins by removing the combustible material, such as plastics and insulation, with a gas-fired thermal oxidizer.
This exposes the real and open cells with metal content.
The flat cost to recycle a ton of batteries is $1,000 to $2,000. Efforts are made to bring the cost per ton to $300. This includes transportation costs as well.
To simplify transportation, manufacturers have set up smelters plants in strategic geographic locations. Modern and hi-tech lead smelters are present near Bangalore and Pune, where recycling of old batteries is done and the lead is sold back to us in an ingot form.
This Recycling is a great boon for the environment and economy and also for all the stakeholders.
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