top

Battery World Recycling Program

Batteries power today’s necessities — cellphones, small electronics and laptop computers as well as numerous household devices. These portable, versatile power sources figure significantly in making technology accessible. Billions of batteries are purchased every year according to statistics.

Not all these batteries are properly collected and recycled at the end of their life, which increases the risk of releasing hazardous substances and constitutes a waste of resources. Many of the components of these batteries and accumulators could be recycled, avoiding the release of hazardous substances to the environment and, in addition, providing valuable materials to important products and production processes.

Tossed in the trash, batteries can harm the environment; when batteries have served their purpose, contact Battery World for safe disposal.

Health and Environmental Risks

Battery materials pose no threat to human health when in use, but batteries discarded improperly can have dangerous health and environmental consequences because of the heavy metals the batteries contain. About two-thirds of household waste is either incinerated or placed in a landfill. Batteries that end up in a landfill can leach chemicals and heavy metals into soil, groundwater, lakes and streams. When incinerated, batteries release heavy metals into the air; these metals also enter the environment in the ash created during incineration. Realizing the dangers batteries pose to human health and the environment, Battery World is keen to promote recycling and proper disposal of Batteries.

 Battery Recycling Programs

More than 80 percent of lead-acid and alkaline batteries we distribute are often dropped back for safe disposal after their life span at our Outlets. We offer Training to our resellers, staff and the clients at large on the importance of disposing off used batteries.

For our Distributors in the Re-seller Programme, they earn more loyalty points or get Extra Discount once they submit to us used batteries for safe disposal.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead

Overview of Recycling of Process

The following is a brief discussion about how batteries of different chemistries are physically recycled at the end-site recycling plant.

Lead Acid Battery Recycling

The battery is broken apart in a hammer mill; a machine that hammers the battery into pieces. The broken battery pieces are then placed into a vat, where the lead and heavy materials fall to the bottom and the plastic floats. At this point, the polypropylene pieces are scooped away and the liquids are drawn off, leaving the lead and heavy metals. Each of the materials goes into a different recycling “stream”.

Plastic

Polypropylene pieces are washed, blown dry, and sent to a plastic recycler where the pieces are melted together into an almost liquid state. The molten plastic is put through an extruder that produces small plastic pellets of a uniform size. The pellets are sold to a manufacturer of battery cases and the process begins again.

Lead

Lead grids, lead oxide, and other lead parts are cleaned and heated within smelting furnaces. The molten melted lead is then poured into ingot molds. After a few minutes, the impurities float to the top of the still molten lead in the ingot molds. These impurities are scraped away and the ingots are left to cool. When the ingots are cool, they’re removed from the molds and sent to battery manufacturers, where they’re re-melted and used in the production of new batteries.

Sulfuric Acid

Old battery acid can be handled in two ways: 1) The acid is neutralized with an industrial compound similar to household baking soda. Neutralization turns the acid into water. The water is then treated, cleaned, tested in a waste water treatment plant to be sure it meets clean water standards. 2) The acid is processed and converted to sodium sulfate, an odorless white powder that’s used in laundry detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing.

Alkaline/Zinc Carbon/Zinc Air Batteries

These batteries are recycled in a specialized “room temperature,” mechanical separation process where the battery components are separated into 3 end products. These items are a) Zinc & Manganese Concentrate, b) Steel, c) Paper & Plastic. All of these products are put back into the market place for reuse in new products. These batteries are 100% recycled.

Lithium Ion Batteries

Prior to the smelting process, plastics are separated from the metal components. The metals are then recycled via a High-Temperature Metal Reclamation (HTMR) process during which all of the high temperature metals contained within the battery feedstock (i.e. nickel, iron, manganese, and chromium) report to the molten-metal bath within the furnace, amalgamate, then solidify during the casting operation. The low-melt metals (i.e. zinc and cadmium) separate during the melting, The metals and plastic are then returned to be reused in new products. These batteries are 100% recycled.

Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

Prior to the smelting process, plastics are separated from the metal components. The metals are then recycled via a High-Temperature Metal Reclamation (HTMR) process during which all of the high temperature metals contained within the battery feedstock (i.e. nickel, iron, manganese, and chromium) report to the molten-metal bath within the furnace, amalgamate, then solidify during the casting operation. The low-melt metals (i.e. zinc and cadmium) separate during the melting, The metals and plastic are then returned to be reused in new products. These batteries are 100% recycled.

Lithium Batteries

The contents of the batteries are exposed using a shredder or a high-speed hammer depending on battery size. The contents are then submerged in caustic (basic not acidic) water. This caustic solution neutralizes the electrolytes, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals are recovered. The clean scrap metal is then sold to metal recyclers. The solution is then filtered. The carbon is recovered and pressed into moist sheets of carbon cake. Some of the carbon is recycled with cobalt. The lithium in the solution (lithium hydroxide) is converted to lithium carbonate, a fine white powder. What results is technical grade lithium carbonate, which is used to make lithium ingot metal and foil for batteries. It also provides lithium metal for resale and for the manufacture of sulfur dioxide batteries.

Mercury Batteries

The batteries and heavy metals are recovered through a controlled-temperature process. It’s important to note: the percentage of mercuric oxide batteries is decreasing since the passage of the Mercury-Containing Rechargeable Battery Management Act (The Battery Act) of 1996. This act prohibits, or otherwise conditions, the sale of certain types of mercury-containing batteries (i.e., alkaline-manganese, zinc-carbon, button-cell mercuric-oxide and other mercuric-oxide batteries)

“The environment, after all, is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest.  It is one thing that all of us share.  It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” -First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson