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Recycling

U.S. Battery Manufacturing And The Battery Industry, Celebrate Their Commitment Towards Positive Environmental Change On Earth Day

Since 1970, Earth Day has stood as a celebration of the modern environmental movement. Today people and industries around the world, including the lead battery industry, have answered the call to help improve our world by developing methods of manufacturing and operations that are more environmentally friendly. As a result of these new approaches, lead batteries are now a sustainable energy source used in a wide range of applications.

The battery industry has emerged as one of the major success stories of this Earth Day movement. Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) batteries are recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the most recycled consumer product in the nation. The innovative recycling methods for the lead battery industry result in 99 percent of every lead battery being recycled. Translating into 130-million used batteries not reaching landfills annually. Over the decades, the process has evolved to use almost every part of the battery. Battery reyclingThe polypropylene outer case and cover are broken down into small pellets and manufactured into new batteries and other plastic products. The internal lead components of the battery are melted down to make components for new batteries. The battery’s electrolyte is neutralized and purified into water or converted into sodium sulfate, a compound commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and textiles.

The effects of the battery industry’s efforts, however, don’t end there. As well as reducing its environmental impact, the battery industry provides $26.3-billion in revenue to the nation’s economy, impacting suppliers, worker spending, transportation, and distribution sectors. According to the Battery Council International (BCI), the international trade association of battery manufacturers, an estimated $1.7 billion is put into payroll within an industry of approximately 25,000 workers in the United States.

In addition, advancements in battery technology have turned lead batteries into one of the most cost-efficient forms of energy, allowing battery-powered equipment to operate cleanly and with increased reliability. Lower operating costs also offer advantages to lead battery-powered machinery and vehicles, further reducing emissions and reducing the environmental impact of other industries that embrace battery power.

U.S. Battery is proud to be a part of this effort and continually encourages customers and industries it’s involved in to recycle and use battery power where ever possible. Please join U.S. Battery and others in the global community in celebrating Earth Day by visiting the EarthDay.org website and finding an event to participate in or ways to take action. For more information, visit www.earthday.org, or for more information on sustainable deep-cycle batteries for various applications, visit www.usbattery.com.

 

Battery recycling

Celebrating Global Recycling Day

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.

Battery recycling

Battery Manufacturing And Recycling Efforts Are The Benchmark For The Move Towards Positive Environmental Change

This year U.S. Battery Manufacturing celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day we continue to try to make environmental improvements in the face of a new threat. While this year’s celebration will be different than in previous years, we take this moment to recognize industries and individuals who are committed to making our world a better, safer place and continue to make positive strides.

At U.S. Battery, we remain focused on responsibly producing quality batteries, which set the industry standard for cycling performance and durability. From an environmental standpoint, Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) batteries are at the top of the list when considering recyclability. More than 99% of the materials are recycled into new batteries. This level of recycling means that 130 million used lead batteries are prevented from reaching landfills every year. These efforts have resulted in the recognition, of lead batteries, by the U.S. Environmental Agency as the most recycled consumer product.

As the battery industry continues to do its part for the environment, U.S. Battery and battery manufacturers worldwide, are also committed to providing an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our batteries are being used as backup power for call centers, hospitals, and temporary field hospitals, as well as powering the floor machines that are helping keep them clean.

While we’re proud to be a part of this effort, the U.S. Battery family would like to thank those on the frontline of fighting this dangerous disease. All of your efforts have been inspirational. Together we will get through this.

Join others in virtually celebrating Earth day by visiting the Earth Day Live event online, which features digital events that address climate change and showcase messages of hope and optimism. Visit https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-live/

1.7 million tons of lead batteries is recycled every year

Battery Council International Among The Success Stories In Recycling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenged companies and organizations to sign and be a part of the EPA’s America Recycles Pledge, representing their active participation in addressing the challenges of America’s recycling programs. After many companies signed and joined, the EPA recently recognized several organizations that have shown exemplary successes in recycling.

Among those recognized was the Battery Council International (BCI), a not-for-profit trade organization that represents the lead battery industry consisting of battery manufacturers, recyclers, and suppliers. The organization is committed to sustainability, the environment, and society by providing extensive information about recycling lead batteries to consumers and policymakers. 

With lead battery recycling at a 99.3% rate and the fact that lead batteries are safely manufactured and recycled through a “closed-loop” state-of-the-art process, BCI estimates this effort keeps more than 1.7 million tons of lead batteries out of  U.S. landfills. BCI was recognized for its training materials, intended for retailers, that help inform handlers on how to identify and remove lithium batteries from the lead recycling process. BCI created a lithium battery training tool kit designed for companies to incorporate into their onboarding programs and learning management systems.

BCI was one of many companies and organizations recognized by the EPA for their recycling efforts in 2018 and celebrates these successes to remind us of the significant progress made by individuals and companies when working together.

U.S. Battery Recycling logo

Battery Sorting, Training Key To Safe Recycling Efforts

Lithium-ion batteries have become part of our daily lives. They have proven useful for powering many of the electronics that we rely on, from cellphones and power tools to a growing number of electric vehicles. Their chemistry and construction, however, are not compatible with the process used to recycle lead-acid batteries. As a result, the Battery Council International (BCI) has growing concerns that more Lithium-ion batteries may be introduced into the lead-acid recycling ecosystem. The results of such contamination can result in explosion and fire that can cause injury to recycling center personnel and equipment. Lithium-ion batteries must be taken to a proper recycling location to be disposed of these facilities are not the same as lead battery recycling centers. Visit the BCI website to find out where to recycle lithium-ion batteries near you.

Properly Identifying Lead-Acid and Lithium-ion Batteries

Some of the best ways to tell the difference between a lithium-ion battery and a lead battery include:

1) Weight – Lead batteries typically weigh almost double that of a lithium battery of the same size.

2) Labeling – Lead batteries are labeled with the letters PB or have the word Lead Battery somewhere on the battery. Lithium-ion batteries have the letters Li or have the words lithium-ion somewhere on the battery case.

3) Terminal Styles – Most lead batteries have two protruding terminals with a light gray appearance. Lithium batteries may have a number of different styles of terminals.

If you’re still not sure what type of battery you have, you should remove the battery for closer inspection to find a label or other markings that may indicate the chemistry.

The BCI has created a toolkit that can be used by companies, to help employees identify and ensure that lead and lithium batteries are not recycled together.  The toolkit includes training videos, as well as a poster and flyer that can aid lead battery sorters and handlers with proper identification.

Video: https://youtu.be/4TPnUrENTRc

Lead Recycling Threatened By Lithium-ion Batteries

The Battery Council International raises concerns over Lithium-ion batteries contaminating the near perfect record of lead battery recycling

New information distributed by the Battery Council International, warns about the introduction of lithium ion batteries entering the lead battery collection and recycling process. According to BCI, lead-acid batteries are recycled at the highest rate of any commercial product – a rate of 97 to 99 percent. With the increase of lithium-ion battery use, the introduction of these batteries into the lead recycling system has resulted in a number of safety incidents as reported by the International Lead Association, ILA.

The BCI warns he risks of fires and explosions can occur during transport, storage, battery breaking and smelting processes of used lead-based batteries if lithium-ion batteries are mistakenly or knowingly added into the recycling process. Since both types of batteries look similar, proper identification is required when recycling plants receive pallets or bins containing used batteries.

To properly inform recyclers the lead recycling and battery industries of North America and Europe, the International Lead Association (ILA), the industrial and automotive battery manufacturing and recycling associations of Battery Council International (BCI) and Europe (EUROBAT), and the Association of Battery Recyclers (ABR), have created a joint initiative to warn about lithium battery contamination. These organizations urge battery collectors to:

1) Look for the proper labeling – Battery labels contain a Pb symbol on lead batteries and a Li symbol on lithium batteries. It may also be possible to distinguish the chemistries by their manufacturer.

2) Notice the weight difference – Although they have similar dimensions lithium batteries are much lighter than lead batteries.

“The lead battery industry has the most successful recycling program in the world,” says Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice President of BCI. “In no way do we want to jeopardize our success or compromise our commitment to sustainability. Preventing lithium-ion batteries from entering the lead battery recycling process is critical to achieving that outcome.”

While it’s important to carefully read the battery labels before collecting or sending batteries to a lead recycling plant, another solution is now being developed. The U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) are proposing to develop standardized labels that are color-coded to allow for better identification between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.

 

For more information on properly identifying flooded lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, contact the Battery Council International at www.batterycouncil.org. Or contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing at 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.