Today, March 18th is Global Recycling day. As part of the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative (ALBCI) U.S. Battery Manufacturing and the Battery Council International urge everyone to recycle their used batteries. The battery industry is committed to its on-going recycling efforts, which you can read more about on the BCI’s Essential Energy Everyday website.
The recycling process breaks down the outer polypropylene casings; they are then washed, melted, and extruded into small pellets. Manufacturers use these pellets to produce new battery cases as well as other plastic products. The lead oxide and lead grids of the battery’s interior are melted in a smelting furnace to form lead ingots to make new battery components. The sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte is neutralized and purified into water that meets EPA clean water standards before being recirculated. The acid can also be converted into sodium sulfate during the recycling process, a compound commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and other textiles. The process creates a sustainable energy source that is the model of recycling in the United States.