Can you recycle lead acid batteries?

Posted by Battery Accessories on

three people holding recycling signs in their handsOne way that we can help our planet is to recycle products and one of the fantastic things about lead acid batteries is that they are recyclable. Making sure that you recycle your lead batteries is a good way of knowing that they are being disposed of correctly and safely and that at the same time you are helping the planet. If lead acid batteries are not disposed of correctly there is a chance that this could lead to toxic leaks which can cause many problems; batteries must always go to a recycling plant, not a landfill.

How are lead acid batteries recycled?

Lead acid batteries are rechargeable and can be found in all kinds of industrial machinery including forklift trucks, golf buggies and floor sweepers, as well as your everyday vehicles. Using a battery management system will allow your lead acid batteries to last a long time but at some point, they will stop working as they don’t last forever, as durable and long-lasting as they are. So, what happens to them once they stop working?

Recycling lead acid batteries

Lead acid batteries are now highly recyclable and eco-friendly with many countries across the globe recycling more than 90% of their batteries. They should never just be thrown away because the toxic substances within the battery are able to leak out if they are placed in a landfill, which is highly dangerous.

Whilst the safe process of recycling batteries is somewhat laborious, this process is necessary to ensure the sage reuse of materials as well as maintaining a happy planet. Thankfully, you don’t need to do all these steps yourself as there are professionals who do all steps. All you need to do is call your nearest lead battery recycling plant and have them take the batteries away where they will then begin the process of recycling them for you.

Lead recycling

Once a battery has stopped working for good and is ready to be recycled the lead battery is first broken apart using a hammer mill; this is a machine which is designed just for batteries. The broken pieces are then placed in a vat, and this is where the materials separate; the heavy materials fall to the bottom of the vat and the lighter plastic floats on the top.

The polypropylene is then taken away and the liquids are drawn off. This leaves just the lead and the heavy metals. Each material is added to a separate recycling stream. Any sulphuric acid still found in the battery will be used to make both fertilizer and detergent.

The lead parts such as lead oxide and lead grids are cleaned and then heated using a smelting furnace. This creates molten lead which is poured into an ingot mould and after a few minutes you can see any impurities rise up to the surface. These can then be scraped off the top and then the mould is left to cool down. Once cooled, they are removed from the moulds and then they are sent back to battery manufacturers who can then make new batteries. This creates a low carbon footprint as well as fulfilling demand for new batteries.

Make sure that you dispose of your lead batteries in the safest way both for the environment and for safety measures. Keep dangerous chemicals away from landfills and find your local battery recycling center to collect your lead batteries and begin the recycling process.

Lead acid batteries are 99% recyclable, making them one of the most economically and environmentally friendly methods of storing energy.


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