Lead Acid Battery – Recycling

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Introduction:

Lead is one of the most recycled non-ferrous metal in the world. Used lead acid batteries accounts for 63% of world demand for lead. Lead is a rare metal. It is not found abundant in nature. Even the ores containing 3% lead are being utilized. Lead is a poisonous metal and is a cumulative poison. Increased exposure will result with neurological disorders. Recycling helps to protect the environment. But at the same time the re-cycling process itself is dangerous to workers. Norway has no Lead-recycling units, all they do is to collect the used batteries and export them to other countries for re-cycling. The annual demand (as on 2008) for lead is around 8.7 million tpa. Around 3.9 million tpa of lead is produced from mining. The following are the recycling plants in the world. Asia – 53 plants – 425,000 tpa America – 67 plants – 1,500,000 tpa Europe – 46 plants – 1,150,000 tpa Africa – 17 plants – 67,000 tpa The above list is not including the recycling plants of capacity less than 1000 tpa.

The process of Recycling:

It mainly consists of three steps : 1. Wrecking 2. Smelting 3. Refining. The wrecking section consists of spike crusher, acid separator, plastics separator, neutralization tank, thickener and storage for lead fraction. The smelting section may use rotary reverberatory furnace, or stationary furnace or blast furnace. Here materials like soda, carbon, Iron, calcium oxide etc are added to reduce lead oxide, lead sulphate into mineral lead. Other plastic contaminants, rubber, paper etc will be burned out. Refining is the process of re-melting the smelted lead, alloying and refining by removal of antimony, copper, arsenic etc. Refining process is carried out batch wise depending on the need in pot and kettle furnaces.

. Lead used in batteries. antimony.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-HH-YrA8v_M#t=0s Recyclable and non recyclable uses of lead. ceramics etc cannot be recycled.youtube. glass. plastic stabilizers. pipes. arsenic.There are other methods to smelt the whole batteries to avoid other operations like battery crushing. Lead used in gasoline additives. separation of non-lead components and storage of crushed materials. tin and copper in small amounts to increase the hardness. paints. roofings. solders. cable sheaths. The youtube video about the recycling process is available here: http://www. radiation shielding etc can be recycled. Composition of Lead acid battery: Metallic lead 17% Lead oxide and lead sulphate 50% Plastic Acid Residuals 5% 24% 4% Apart from this there are chemical additives such as cadmium. Non –recycling uses of lead is banned in many countries. Cadmium is not used as additive in Europe as it will produce toxic volatiles during smelting.

Lead oxide: Lead monoxide ( PbO ) or Litharge or yellow lead oxide Lead dioxide ( PbO2) or brown lead oxide Tri lead tetroxide ( Pb3O4) or Red lead oxide Lead sub oxide (2PbO.Pb(BrO3)2. The Grey Oxide is harvested through a high efficiency cyclone. It is in a grey powder form.H2O Lead Chloride .Pb.Pb(NO3)2 Tetra ethyl Lead (TEL) – Pb(C2H5)4 Lead Arsenate – Pb3(AsO4)2 Lead carbonate – PbCO3 Lead chromate – PbCrO4 Lead silicate – PbSiO3 . It comprises of a small Lead Melting Furnace. which feeds the balls to the ball mill .Compounds of Lead: out of many compounds of lead. Lead di oxide ( brown Lead ) is used extensively in lead acid batteries. petroleum refining. bag-house filtration unit and induction draft fan arrangement. lubricants and greases. an important intermediate. lead oxide especially lead sub oxide (LSD) or grey oxide is the most extensively used compound in battery manufacturing. Litharge (Lead monoxide). paints and pigments and explosives industries.H2O) or Grey lead oxide Grey Lead Oxide ( Lead sub oxide) is used on an extensive scale for preparation of plates in Lead Acid Batteries which requires production to strict specifications . inorganic pigments. Red Lead (Tri lead tetroxide) is also used to a certain extent in the ceramics and glass.In the ball mill. which uses the ball mill process. Other compounds find less uses or their uses are restricted/banned due to the poisonous nature of lead. insecticides.Refined Lead (99. Other compounds of Lead Lead azide – Pb(N3)2 Lead bromate . Lead is converted to Lead Sub Oxide in an exothermic process. is used in a variety of industries like ceramics and glass. rubber and PVC. operating in line with a hemispherical ball-casting machine.PbCl2 Lead Nitrate . in conditions of a maintained temperature range of 135-145 degrees centigrade and constant airflow.97% purity) ingots are the required input for LSO manufacturing plant.

toxic white crystals used in ceramic. It is prepared by synthesis between sodium azide and lead nitrate.Lead azide is an explosive. Lead carbonate or white lead is a white crystalline solid insoluble in water prepared by the action of carbon-di-oxide on lead acetate. It is produced by treating lead oxide with acetic acid. paints. It is used in the gold extraction process to increase the leaching speed. Lead acetate is a colorless powder with sweetening taste.It was used as an insecticide and fungicide. Lead bromate when mixed with lead acetate it detonates. Lead chloride is colorless white powder prepared by the action of sodium chloride on an aqueous solution of lead nitrate. It is used in paints under the name “chrome yellow” Lead nitrate is a colorless white powder prepared by dissolving elemental lead or lead oxide in concentrated nitric acid. Lead silicate . It is used as a reagent to produce other lead compounds. Its main use as a raw material or reagent for the production of other lead compounds especially chrome yellow. Lead arsenate (LA) is prepared by the action of lead nitrate on arsenic acid or sodium arsenate. It is one of the most important lead based reagents. Tetraethyllead (TEL) is prepared by the action of ethyl chloride on sodium-lead alloy. Unlike other lead compounds lead nitrate is soluble in water. Lead chromate is an yellow solid insoluble in water prepared by the action of sodium chromate on lead nitrate.enamels and fire proof fabrics. It is used in men’s hair coloring products. . It is used in detonators to initiate secondary explosive. For centuries it was used in cosmetics. It was used as a white pigment in paints. It is used in construction as an additive in variety of cements and putty. It was used as gasoline additive as anti-knocking agent. Another method is the action of lead acetate on sodium azide.