contain many hazardous substances and should be disposed of carefully
and properly. Watch the video made by Battery Council International
(The trade association for the lead-acid battery industry) for a
Batteries should be recycled at an appropriate recycling center>
What happens to my old battery?
The battery is broken apart in a hammermill, a machine that hammers
the battery into pieces.
broken battery pieces go into a vat, where the lead and heavy materials
fall to the bottom while the plastic rises to the top. At this point,
the polypropylene pieces are scooped away and the liquids are drawn
off, leaving the lead and heavy metals. Each of the materials goes
into a different "stream." We'll begin with the plastic, or polypropylene.
The polypropylene pieces are washed, blown dry and sent to a plastic
recycler where the pieces are melted together into an almost-liquid
state. The molten plastic is put through an extruder that produces
small plastic pellets of a uniform size. Those pellets are sold
to the manufacturer of battery cases, and the process begins again.
The lead grids, lead oxide and other lead parts are cleaned and
then melted together in smelting furnaces.
The molten lead is poured into ingot molds. Large ingots, weighing
about 2,000 pounds are called hogs. Smaller ingots, weighing 65
pounds, are called pigs. After few minutes, the
otherwise known as dross, float to the top of the still-molten lead in
the ingot molds. The dross is scraped away and the ingots are left to
When the ingots are cool, they are removed from the molds and sent to
battery manufacturers, where they are re-melted and used in the production
of new lead plates and other parts for new batteries.
Old battery acid can be handled in two ways.
The acid is neutralized with an industrial alkaline compound similar to
household baking soda.(ACID + ALKALINE=WATER + SALT) This turns the acid
into water. The water is treated, cleaned and tested to be sure it meets
clean water standards. Then it is released into the public sewer system.
Another way to treat acid is to process it and convert it to sodium sulfate,
an odorless white powder that's used in laundry detergent, glass and textile
manufacturing. This takes a material that would be discarded and turns
it into a useful product.
CAR AND DEEP
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS