How to recycle lead-acid batteries
Recycling lead-acid batteries is a huge success story in the industry, with 96% recycled on average across the G7 nations. This has been driven largely by the value present in the recovered lead and plastics.
Though lead-acid batteries contain valuable commodities, with over 90% of the materials found in batteries being potentially harmful, it is imperative that the machinery used is appropriate to reduce the hazards present.
After being pulverised into pieces in a hammer mill, the resulting mix is processed through a sink-float tank type process to separate the lead and lead paste from the remaining materials. This process removes the lead, lead paste and acid for further treatment.
The remaining material consists of PP, PVC, ABS, rubber and battery separators as well as residual trace amounts of lead and lead paste. This material is then ready to be processed in the Rotajet lead-acid separation and washing system. A breakdown of each stage can be seen below.
- RJ-PW/75sa – This specially designed rotary washer performs two simple tasks in one operation. Firstly, the sulphuric acid is neutralised by the caustic wash liquor used. The volume of caustic used is varied according to the pH present in the recirculation tank. Secondly, any remaining lead paste is removed by the washer to increase the purity of your resulting product.
- RJ-HKS-50 – A sink float tank is then used to remove contamination from PVC, ABS, rubber and battery separators which sink. The floating fraction remaining represents a high purity polypropylene stream which is moved via a screw auger to the next stage in the process.
- RJ-GR – This powerful granulator then acts as a final size reduction stage, providing you with a uniform particle size suitable for reuse.
- RJ-MD-55 –The wet plastics are fed into the Rotajet mechanical dryer where the plastic particles or flakes are impacted by the rotating rotor. The impact from the Rotor paddles creates centrifugal force to drive the plastic particles to the outside of the dryer. The moisture is removed from the surface of the plastic particles and is driven through the dewatering fixed screens. The impact of the high-speed paddle also forces the dried material through the machine to the output mouth.
- RJ-DB-ZZ – Finally, a zig-zag separator is used to remove any remaining fines, ensuring a product quality suitable for extrusion.
To learn more about our lead-acid battery recycling lines, please get in touch with our technical advisors on the link below.