How to collect and recycle waste batteries?

main content:

  • 1. Waste battery collection system
  • 2. Collection of waste batteries
  • 3. Waste battery recycling

    1. Waste battery collection system

    Waste battery collection system

    Expanding the collection and recycling of waste batteries requires good will from all stakeholders. This requires a basic understanding of the relevant current state of the country and good advice that is applicable to all stakeholders in the system. However, in the overall planning, government departments ultimately play a decisive role. Manufacturers should be clear about their responsibilities, retailers should actively establish recycling points, end users should be informed how to return used products, and industry should provide facilities where these products can be recycled.

    When recycling used disposable batteries, the responsible unit for recycling should conduct business prudently. At present, in the absence of effective recycling technology, it is not appropriate to encourage centralized collection of waste primary batteries that have met the national low-mercury or no-mercury requirements.

    The following units shall be responsible for recycling waste rechargeable batteries and waste button batteries:
    ① Manufacturers of rechargeable batteries and button batteries;
    ② Importers of rechargeable batteries and button batteries;
    ③ Those who use rechargeable batteries or button battery products;
    ④ Businesses that entrust other battery manufacturers to produce and use rechargeable batteries and button batteries with their own trademarks.

    As mentioned earlier, there are many possible options. But no matter which option is adopted, it will take some time to establish a feasible and effective solution.

    2. Collection of waste batteries

    Collection of waste batteries

    1) Legal requirements

    Because the collection and recycling system needs to be built on a solid legal basis, regulations addressing the following issues are paramount.
    ① Definition and classification of waste.
    ②The responsibility of the producer is clear.
    ③ Requirements for collection and recycling.
    ④ The definition of recycling efficiency and the goals to be achieved.
    ⑤ Good management and practice when transferring files.

    2) Collection requirements

    In order to carry out the collection of waste batteries, it is necessary to clarify the responsibilities of producers, retailers and end users: develop a collection network of retailers, collectors and municipalities; set up waste battery collection points in densely populated areas; organize Different collection routes and routes from decentralized to mass concentration; delivery to recycling facilities.

    3. Waste battery recycling

    Waste battery recycling

    1) Requirements for recycling

    Legal clarification of the technical and environmental protection requirements of waste battery recycling facilities is important for evaluating the various treatment processes and implementing recycling operations. Each treatment method has its own technical parameters and recovery efficiency.

    2) Resource value of waste batteries

    According to the composition of the battery, the metals with higher value in various waste batteries are silver, nickel and cadmium, followed by lead; mercury and zinc are lower. At present, the consumption of lead in the production of lead-acid batteries in China is about 300,000 tons; the statistics of the total amount of metals used in zinc-manganese dry batteries are shown in Table 1. Lead-acid batteries have the largest amount of waste resources, followed by zinc-manganese batteries, Jin-cadmium batteries and nickel-hydrogen batteries are increasing, and silver oxide batteries and mercury oxide batteries are less. Judging from the collection situation, the collection of lead-acid batteries is relatively easy, and the collection of other types of waste batteries is difficult to carry out.

    Lead-acid batteries are of great collection and recycling value; nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-hydrogen batteries are of great recycling value; if the technical problems of collection and recycling can be solved, alkaline manganese batteries and ordinary zinc-manganese batteries may also have recycling value.

    (1) Waste lead-acid battery

    After 1994, China's secondary lead industry developed rapidly. In particular, more than 85% of the raw materials for the production of recycled lead come from waste lead-acid batteries. China produces about 500,000 tons of waste lead-acid batteries every year, with a collection rate of over 90%. However, the overall level of the collection, treatment and recycling technology of waste lead-acid batteries in China is still relatively low. The collection work is in a disordered state, and multiple acquisitions and multiple channels of circulation are common phenomena. The disorderly management of the collection work will inevitably lead to potential environmental pollution problems during the collection of waste lead-acid batteries. For example, the phenomenon of randomly dumping the sulfuric acid solution containing lead mud and only taking the lead plate is very common. For lead-acid batteries, the battery is usually disassembled first, and the electrolyte in the battery is drained before transportation. There is no special transportation management. The amount of lead-containing waste acid lost during storage is also large.

    At present, only a few enterprises in China have adopted the new technology of pollution-free regenerated lead for waste lead-acid battery raw material pretreatment and sorting, and most enterprises still adopt manual separation method and earth furnace smelting method. In the smelting process, a large amount of harmful substances such as lead vapor is produced, which seriously pollutes the environment. In the smelting process of waste lead-acid batteries, the recovery rate of lead in traditional reverberatory furnace smelting in China is generally about 80%, and about 54,000 tons of lead are lost in the annual recovery process.

    (2) Ordinary waste dry batteries

    The collection of waste batteries is the premise for the harmless treatment and resource utilization of waste batteries. At present, spontaneous or organized collection work has been carried out in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities. However, at present, waste batteries can only be stored in warehouses after recycling, and there is no resource-recycling technology or equipment for economical, effective and safe disposal of waste primary dry batteries and mixed waste batteries in China. At present, there are still many technical and economic problems in the recycling of waste dry batteries: ①The pollution control problem in the process of recycling waste batteries has not been solved; ②The mixed collection of waste batteries also makes the recycling of waste batteries difficult, because the recycling of waste batteries directly It comes from ordinary consumers, which makes it difficult to classify and collect waste batteries; ③The high cost of waste battery recycling and the reduction of resource value makes the profit of waste battery recycling almost negative, which discourages investors.

    (3) Secondary rechargeable battery

    Some Chinese enterprises have tried to recycle waste nickel-cadmium batteries. For example, Shenzhen Industrial Waste Treatment Station has established a hydrometallurgical recycling workshop for waste nickel-cadmium batteries with a daily processing capacity of 10t. Defective waste and scraps from battery production plants. The recycling technology of waste nickel-metal hydride batteries and waste lithium batteries is still only in the laboratory research stage.

    3) Recycling costs and facilities

    Collection and recycling costs are highly dependent on waste characteristics. Although some European countries are effective in collecting and recycling batteries, they also face unprofitable problems. Therefore, it is impossible to make a profit just by utilizing the metals in the used batteries. At present, there is a gap of at least 1,000 euros in processing costs for every 1t of waste batteries in Germany. For this part of the difference, Europe has not resolved through government subsidies. The European Portable Battery Association believes that a deposit method is also undesirable; many batteries have a long life cycle. At present, the development and utilization of various battery recycling technologies are mainly in Europe.

    In general, the cost of used battery collection depends on the quantity collected, the distance covered by the collection, and the local shipping price. In order to reduce transportation costs, the most basic requirement is that the owners of waste batteries themselves send these waste batteries to the collection point; or the owners of waste battery treatment and disposal facilities, retailers, municipalities organize the collection of small amounts of used batteries and Make good use of the service system you have.

    (1) Primary battery recycling fee

    When the collection and recycling of spent primary batteries is required, the cost of treatment depends mainly on the quality of the waste, i.e. whether it is a hybrid battery or not.

    If the waste batteries are not sorted, the waste batteries can be either mercury, cadmium and lead containing waste batteries or mercury, cadmium and lead free waste batteries. Therefore, in the recycling process, these waste batteries must be sorted according to the form of mercury, cadmium and lead. In this case, the recycling and disposal fee per ton of used primary batteries is between 1000 (for standard waste batteries) ~ 2500 US dollars (for contaminated hybrid batteries). 1t of waste batteries usually contains 20,000 to 40,000 batteries on average.

    Different types of batteries have different recycling fees. For example, the cost of processing mercury-free primary cells is around $700/t, while the cost of processing HgO coin cells can be as high as $2,800. At present, mercury-free waste batteries generally account for 50% of the total waste batteries, while the most expensive button batteries account for less than 2% of the total waste batteries.
    Like the collection cost of waste batteries, there are certain differences in battery recycling and disposal costs for different countries.

    (2) Recycling costs of secondary batteries

    There are many ways to recycle lead-acid batteries. Most of the waste lead-acid batteries come from automobiles and discarded vehicles. The price of waste lead-acid battery recycling depends on the lead price in the metal market and the amount of waste lead-acid batteries recycled. The disposal cost of lead-acid batteries is also related to the lead content in the battery. Used lead-acid batteries are usually collected from consumers at the point of sale of lead-acid batteries (the first step in recycling); or those used lead-acid batteries are sent directly to a recycling facility. The cost of waste battery disposal can be included in the cost of recycling of secondary lead metal sales. Retailers and manufacturers of lead-acid batteries can also support the cost of collecting waste lead-acid batteries at collection points.

    For nickel-cadmium batteries, the recycling price is the same as that of lead-acid batteries, which is related to the market price of brocade metal and the content of brocade in the battery. If the brocade metal price is high and the brocade content exceeds 12% of the total battery mass, the supplier of the spent battery may be paid for sending the spent battery to the recycling and recovery processing plant. If the brocade content is relatively low, the treatment fee may increase to US$400/t.

    NiMH batteries contain a variety of high-value metals and are usually sold to recyclers for a price that depends on market conditions.

    Lithium batteries are currently not available in small quantities, so it is impossible to set a price for their recycling. However, some metals in waste lithium batteries are of high value, so the initiative to send lithium batteries to recycling should be compensated.

    Medium and large lead batteries and Jin batteries are mainly used in some professional applications. When buyers are required to purchase and exchange used batteries, battery manufacturers and agents usually recycle used batteries in order to stabilize the price of the batteries, so the cost of collection and recycling of used batteries is included in the price of new batteries.