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How Lead Batteries Are Recycled and Reused

Lead batteries are used for many purposes, including automobile batteries, cars and buses and golf cards, boats, and battery-powered generators. They are also used to store energy by utility providers as a way to prevent power outages and to supply additional power during a high usage time. Therefore, recycling these batteries is important.

What is a Lead Battery?

Called a lead battery due to the two lead plates that are used to create the battery. To charge the battery, the plates, one for negative charge and the other for a positive charge, are dipped into a solution that has water and acid. This is then placed into a plastic container, and the battery is complete. The battery will hold a charge for several years and can be an environmental risk when not properly recycled and disposed of. The lead and other materials can find their way into the water and the land, causing damage to the environment and animals in the area.

Recycling Each Component

To recycle a lead battery, it is necessary to separate the components and recycle each in its way. Beginning the process by crushing the batteries, they are then separated. Once the battery has been crushed in a contained and monitored environment, they are added to a vat which naturally separates all of the individual materials. The plastic will float to the top of the vat, the metal will sink to the bottom of the bat, and the liquids surround them. Plastic is able to be removed off the top of the vat, and the liquid is then removed. After this occurs, the lead and other metals are left in the bottom of the vat. Each of these materials is sent to a different area for further steps in the recycling process.

Plastic

Plastic that has been removed is washed and dried then transported to a plastic recycler. The pieces are heated and melted; then, an extruder will form them into small pellets of plastic. These plastic pellets are often used to melt and create battery casings for the next round of lead batteries. Lead removed from these batteries is cleaned and then placed within a smelter, at which point it is heated. After being heated and melted, it is poured into molds that will allow any impurities present to rise to the top of the mold and float on the surface, and are removed. Once the impurities have been removed and the bars have solidified, they can be removed from the molds and shipped back to battery companies that will then melt them and create new batteries. The last material is the battery acid that is present within the battery. It is neutralized either into water that can be treated and used as a water or into a powder sodium sulfate to make detergents, glass, and other materials.

Using Recycled Materials

The pattern of using the recycled materials to create new batteries is called a closed-loop recycling process. This is always recommended, so recycle your lead batteries, and shop lithium batteries in Brisbane, for the best, most environmentally friendly power solutions in Australia.

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