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MEXICO CITY: Milton, Georgia based battery manufacturer, Exide Technologies is to idle its lead recycling operations at its Reading, Pennsylvania facility by March 2013. The company said that it will continue to operate its plastics recycling business at the Reading facility. However, the move has been met with concern by the SLAB Watchdog – a non-governmental organisation dedicated to eliminating the environmental danger and community health issues caused by the foreign recycling of Spent Lead Acid Batteries (SLABs).
The prime source of scrap Lead for reprocessing in the US and also around the world is lead acid batteries, since the biggest consumer of the metal is the battery industry. In fact Lead-acid batteries are considered as the most recycled consumer product in the recent time.
Consumes Less Energy: The process of recycling of the used Lead products consumes only around one third of the energy required in producing the metal from virgin ore.
Benefits Environment and Human Health: Lead battery scarp is hazardous for human health and improper disposal of the product have adverse environmental effects.
Reduces Load on Landfills: A high rate of scrap metal recycling implies that less number of the lead manufactured products will end up in the waste stream.
Thus, it is found that scrap metal lead recycling is undoubtedly a valuable contribution to sustainability. Lead is easily melted down for reuse and therefore lead batteries are rarely discarded as waste. Large-scale recycling facilities are also known to be significant sources of lead exposure in many parts of the world. OK International and our Mexican partners at Fronteras Comunes conducted an investigation on the large increase in used lead batteries being exported from the U.S. The CEC conducted a year-long investigation and released a report titled “Hazardous Trade?: An Examination of US-generated Spent Lead-acid Battery Exports and Secondary Lead Recycling in Mexico, the United States and Canada”, which provides an excellent summary of the key issues and outlines recommendations for all three governments. Ensure that accurate performance data including air emissions and employee blood lead levels be made available to the public.
National collection systems are needed to direct used lead batteries to environmentally sound recycling facilities.
China, India and some other countries already have general laws requiring lead battery manufacturers to take back used batteries for recycling. Recycling lead used in batteries improves the utilization of the metal, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and saves energy. Improving recycling practices will provide significant energy savings and result in less greenhouse gas emissions. An Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, California was shut down by State regulators in 2015 due to its excessive lead and arsenic emissions which were shown to be contaminating thousands of homes and exposing residents to these dangerous neurotoxins.
Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Schedule a Free inspection of your Commercial Equipment!MSHA, OSHA, and best practices commercial battery equipment inspection at your location for free.
Electrochemical lead recycling firm Aqua Metals was named the winner of the Rising Star category in the 2016 Platts Global Metals Awards program. Aqua Metals was recognised for its AquaRefining process, the industry’s first commercially viable alternative lead-acid battery recycling technology.
A damning report about battery recycling in Africa lays waste to the lead-acid industry’s claims that regulations are making it environmentally better and safer than lithium-ion.
Another Californian lead-acid battery recycler has been given 30 days to notify residents of possible health risks from its lead and arsenic emissions. Aqua Metals has secured a $10 million loan to build a facility to recycle lead batteries near Reno, Nev. The main sea freight index at Baltic Exchange for ships carrying dry bulk commodities advanced on Tuesday for the first time since October 05 boosted by strong capesize rates. Recycling by definition is the reuse of materials, either pre-consumer or post-consumer, that would ordinarily be considered waste. Although nickel-metal-hydride is considered environmentally friendly, this chemistry is also being recycled. Most lithium batteries are non-rechargeable and are used in cameras, hearing aids and defense applications.
The recycling process starts by removing the combustible material, such as plastics and insulation, with a gas fired thermal oxidizer. Lead can be recovered by either separating the different materials that make up the battery (Lead, plastics, acid, etc.) prior to metallurgical processing. Batteries containing mercury (button cells) are most commonly processed using a vacuum-thermal treatment, in which the mercury vaporises.

Li-Ion batteries are currently reprocessed through pyrolysis (heat treatment) with the primary recovery the metal content.
Exide will maintain the Reading facilities and the permits and approvals necessary for all recycling activities. Since it is corrosion resistant, this metal scrap is available for reprocessing decades or even centuries after it has been produced. According to estimation, today around 80% of the metal is used in manufacturing lead acid batteries, all of which are highly recoverable and recyclable. The commonly found impurities in Lead are arsenic, antimony, bismuth, nickel, copper, tin, silver and zinc.
In recent times, the amount of the scrap material ending up in the landfills has reduced dramatically. Moreover, the process of recycling scrap metal is considered as the least expensive waste management options in cities and towns. Recycling lead by melting down used batteries (also known as secondary smelting) is a profitable business throughout the world.
Because of the primitive nature of these operations and their enormous number (estimated to be in the tens of thousands) the control of lead poisoning from the contamination of homes and the environment is a major challenge. There are dozens of examples of informal and even large lead battery recycling plants that have been the source of lead poisoning among workers and local residents.
To be effective, the collection a system must provide financial incentives such as purchase discount or a deposit system. However, informal sector recycling carried out by dismantling batteries and melting down the material in open vessels or crude furnaces can easily result in 50 percent of the lead to be lost to the environment. Recovering lead from used batteries is much less energy intensive than producing primary lead from ore – using approximately 39% less energy than that needed to produce lead from mining and resulting in a 39% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
At one point in the last decade it was releasing more than 3,400 pounds (1,540 kg) of lead air emissions annually, although levels dropped significantly in its last few years of operation. Therefore, we strive to aid in the clean, safe, energy efficient, and simple recycling and disposal of spent lead acid batteries. This is not something to take lightly if you choose to leave no trace, you should make the conscious decision to recycle your spent batteries. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Green Bank to build its first AquaRefinery at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), according to a news release.
The overall index, which factors in average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, up by 15 points to 762 points on Tuesday. Often times Battery RecyclingA centers pay you for dropping Spent Battery off, so ita€™s a win-win situation. These misconceptions hinder the success and cost-efficiency of recycling programs worldwide.
For proper disposal, the batteries must first be fully discharged to consume the metallic lithium content. Gases from the thermal oxidizer are sent to the plant's scrubber where they are neutralized to remove pollutants. Non-metallic substances are burned off; leaving a black slag on top that is removed with a slag arm.
In a process that appears like a pan boiling over, a fan blows the cadmium vapor into a large tube, which is cooled with water mist. It takes six to ten times the amount of energy to reclaim metals from recycled batteries than it would through other means. There are well-established methods for the recycling of most batteries containing Lead, nickel-cadmium, nickel hydride and mercury. Alternatively, batteries can be processed as a whole through heat treatment in a particular type of furnace with metals being recovered at the end of his process.
It condenses and eventually solidifies when temperatures are reduced and can then be reintroduced into the material cycle.
Fundamental properties, good design and the ways in which it is used – all make Lead products easily identifiable and cost-effective to collect and reprocess.
It has been found that used automobile batteries accounts for about 85% of the scrap metal. Unfortunately, recycling lead from used batteries is known to result in high lead exposures that can cause severe health effects and contaminate the environment unless adequate equipment is used and procedures to minimize emissions are followed.
In 2008 at least 18 children died and many more were poisoned from lead in Dakar, Senegal after exposure to contaminated dust and soil from the recycling of used lead batteries.
Given the considerable differences in environmental and occupational regulations between these countries, our findings raised significant concerns about the contribution of used lead batteries from the U.S.

If designed correctly, such a program can gradually bring the informal sector to operate as collectors (and not recyclers) and contribute to its success. The recovered lead from most of these processes is of very poor quality and unusable for making new high quality lead batteries without additional refinement.
Although the Exide facility outside Los Angeles was closed, there are still lead battery recycling facilities operating in the U.S. Batteries left to deteriorate leach these hazardous materials into the surrounding soils, leaving a toxic, hazardous, and hard to clean up mess. However, with a little consumer education, recycling can be a very important and environmentally sound solution to waste management.
While nickel-cadmium presents an environmental problem on careless disposal, this chemistry continues to hold an important position among rechargeable batteries. Nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride, lithium-ion and Lead acid are placed in designated boxes at the collection point. The different alloys settle according to their weights and are skimmed off like cream from raw milk. NiMH batteries are reprocessed by mechanically separating the individual materials (plastic, hydrogen and nickel) within a vacuum chamber to prevent the escape of hydrogen. The amount of the metal reprocessed as a proportion of its total production is fairly high around the world. A further 6% of the material is used by the building industry mainly in the form of lead sheet.
The major point of distinction in the Lead grades is that recyclers do not generally remove the silver and bismuth during the process of refining.
This led the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to undertake an investigation under the NAFTA framework to assess the reasons for the increase in exports of used lead batteries to Mexico. Customs data shows that the increase in used lead batteries exported to Mexico was twice as large in the four years starting in 2008 (209,204,651 kg) than in the previous four-year period (94,774,929 Kg) before the change in U.S. Laws establishing specific responsibilities on battery producers and mandatory fees (discount or deposits) are necessary to improve product stewardship. Battery recyclers claim that if a steady stream of batteries, sorted by chemistry, were available at no charge, recycling would be profitable. The output of this process is a product with high nickel content which can be used in the manufacture of stainless steel. It has been estimated that over 50% of the Lead consumed is produced from re-used material.
The metal also found its application in smaller volume in different other products that includes cable sheathing, radiation shielding and many other specialized applications like earthquake dampers.
However, there is still significant variability in their reported lead emissions, ranging from 11 to 27,000 pounds (5 to 12,250 kg) annually. Help us keep lead out of the soil in backyards, empty lots, dumps, streams, public lands, and other places our kids have been known to play.
Lead-acid batteries continue to service designated market niches and these batteries also need to be disposed of in a proper manner. Moreover, the recycling rate of the product is estimated to be much higher in comparison to other metals. And most of them can be recycled to manufacture new products, conserving the precious natural ore. In order to evaluate compliance with this law, OK International obtained individual company reports filed with the government. Lithium-ion would simply be too fragile to replace many of these older, but environmentally unfriendly, battery chemistries.
The best thing is that the process of recycling does not change the property of the metal and it remains similar to the virgin ore extracted from mining.
The data indicates that very few companies are complying with this law and even large battery producers are falling short of the mandatory provisions in this standard.
The automotive industry should be given credit in organizing ways to dispose of spent car batteries.

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