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Lead-acid Battery Recycling- Introduction, Methods and Necessity

Lead-acid Battery Recycling- Introduction, Methods and Necessity

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When you hear lead-acid batteries, cars come in your mind automatically. But, it has uses in other technologies like UPS, and telecommunications as well. There are two types of lead batteries that are starting batteries and deep-cycle batteries. Starting battery quickly delivers a large burst of power to help in starting your engine. While deep cycle batteries deliver a continuous low level of power to help an engine keep operating. They contain a large amount of lead and sulphuric acid which brings its own set of harmful environmental consequences and hazards. So, recycling is important for lead-acid batteries. They are not meant to be thrown into your normal home bins.

Where can you dispose of lead-acid battery

It’s very important to dispose of lead-acid batteries correctly. As they contain harmful substances that if they are released in our environment they can cause serious hazards. You can not dispose of lead-acid batteries in the normal bins. Lead-acid batteries can be easily recycled.

You can take the battery to the retailer that sold you battery. Retailers often help you with recycling and replacing your old battery.

You can also dispose of your lead-acid battery to a recycling point that accepts lead batteries. You can use some websites to locate the recycling point. Some sites also give you the pickup and drop off facility.

You can take your battery to a local municipal waste department or county recycling center.

Choose any of the above options, but make sure that you are disposing of your lead-acid batteries correctly and are saving our environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. Also, here are some tips that you need to consider while doing any of the above options.

Always keep the dead lead-acid battery in a leakproof storage container.

Keep them in well-ventilated areas away from flammable services.

Make sure that you are taking all the precautions that are needed to prevent the battery from damages en route to the recycling center.

How do you recycle lead-acid batteries at home

Recycling lead-acid batteries are highly recyclable and recycling lead-acid batteries is a rigorous process and are very essential to ensure that all the parts are safe to use again. You cannot meet that rigorous process and efficiency at home. It's better to take your batteries to recycle points. Also, it's hazardous to recycle batteries at home. Harmful and toxic chemicals can leak into the environment ending up being hazardous to you and your loved ones. You can take all the precautions before taking them to the recycling centers.

After the removal of the lead-acid battery from your vehicle, leave the lead-cable ends attached. Then check the battery that it is not leaking, if it is then make sure that you immediately place it in a leakproof container. Battery acid can even eat up the concrete so be very careful. You can then clean up the leaks with lime or baking soda. While transporting them to the recycler, make sure you are taking it in a leakproof container and keep it upright all over your route. If you are taking multiple batteries to the recycling points then make sure to separate them from pieces of wood or other materials such that the post terminals do not touch each other.

Recycling by Specialists:

The recycling of lead-acid batteries on the industrial level is quite common. Some of the developed countries have achieved the mark of recycling 90% lead-acid batteries.

Once you take your dead lead-acid battery to the recycling center, they are broken into pieces. The battery is broken in a hammer mill, a machine that hammers the batteries into pieces. The broken battery pieces are then placed into a vat, where the lead and heavy materials fall to the bottom while the plastic floats. Now, the polypropylene pieces are scooped away. The liquids are then drawn off forced to leave the lead and heavy metals there. Each of the material then goes into different recycling streams.

Plastic:

Polypropylene pieces are washed, blow-dried, and then sent to a plastic recycler. Here the pieces are melted together into a liquid state. This molten plastic is now put through an extruder that produces small uniform-sized plastic pellets. These pellets are then put into manufacturing battery cases and the process begins again.

Lead:

Lead oxide, lead grids and other lead parts are cleaned and heated in the smelting furnaces. This molten and melted lead is then poured into the ingot molds. After some minutes, all the impurities float upwards of the molten lead. These impurities are then scraped away and the lead in ingots is left to cool. After the ingots are cooled down, they’re removed from the molds and sent to battery manufacturers. Here they are re-melted and used in the production of new batteries.

Sulphuric acid:

The acid of old batteries can be handled in two ways. In the first method, the acid is neutralized with an industrial compound similar that is similar to household baking soda. This process of neutralization turns the acid into water. The water is then treated, cleaned, and tested in a waste-water treatment plant to ensure it meets clean water standards. While in the other method, the acid is processed and converted into sodium sulphate, an odorless white powder that is used in laundry detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing.

Lead-acid batteries are closed-loop recycled which means all the parts undergo the recycling process separately.

Is it necessary to recycle a lead-acid battery

Yes! It's really necessary to recycle a lead-acid battery. As the name suggests, lead and sulphuric acid are found in high quantities. Lead-acid batteries pose a potential threat to our environment and humans both.

Environmental Hazards:

The toxic materials and chemicals released from the lead-acid batteries are involved in the pollution. Pollution is a serious problem in the modern-day world and improper disposal of lead-acid batteries only contributes to the increasing pollution. Both lead and sulphuric acid can lead to the contamination of both solid and groundwater.

Human Hazards:

Sulphuric acid, the main component of lead-acid batteries is highly corrosive. Lead has also been linked to health effects on humans particularly children.

So, make sure that you are not piling up your high lead-acid batteries. Also, Don’t throw lead-acid batteries in the garbage. Recycling is an escape from all the potential hazards that lead-acid batteries bring with it. Promote the recycling of hazardous lead-acid batteries. It will only take you some extra hours and you will save yourself, your loved ones, and your environment from facing the serious harmful consequences of the toxic materials released from the batteries.

 

 

 

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