WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RECYCLING LEAD
Lead is procured as a natural element from mining. Subsequently, the overall quality of the recycled lead is virtually identical to that of primary lead procured as a natural element from mining.
The recycling of lead goes a long way to sustainable development, taking the strain from non-renewable resources and reducing CO2 emissions using energy efficient recovery methods.
In fact, more lead is now being produced through recycling than it is through mining. The primary lead that’s mined is effectively used to ‘top up’ the lead that is already being circulated through efficient recycling.
THE LEAD BATTERY RECYCLING PROCESS EXPLAINED
Virtually all parts of a lead-based battery are recycled. Even the polypropylene plastic casing can be utilized elsewhere and the sulphuric acid within the batteries is recovered and recycled into gypsum for use in plasterboard or as fertilizer on agricultural farmland.
So, as more than four-fifths of present day global lead usage is in lead-based batteries, take a look at the recycling process of these:
AT THE RECYCLING FACILITY
Once the batteries have been transported and unloaded at the recycling facility, the batteries are broken apart and separated into three different components before the recycling process:
Plastic casing recovered from battery cases and covers are turned into pellets before being manufactured into new cases and covers.
The lead ingots from the battery grids and other lead-based battery parts and lead-oxide are used to manufacture lead for recycled grids, parts and lead oxide.
Electrolytes are used in two different ways:
- Sodium sulfate crystals are separated from used electrolytes and recycled and sold for use in textiles, glass and detergents.
- Some used electrolytes are reclaimed and reused as part of the manufacture of new lead-based batteries. Some recyclers simply prefer to neutralise the electrolytes and send them away to a water treatment plant.
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