Methods Used By Countries Around The World To Recycle Used Batteries

Methods Used By Countries Around The World To Recycle Used Batteries

Date:Jul 09, 2019

Germany buys a battery to pay a deposit, and returns it when it is scrapped.

Germany has an effective "recycling waste battery system". The law stipulates that consumers should send used button batteries and the like to the store or waste recycling station. These two places must unconditionally receive the used batteries and transfer them to the processing factory. For toxic nickel-cadmium batteries and mercury-containing batteries, special markings are required. When consumers purchase such batteries, the deposit is included in the price. When the used batteries are sent to the waste station, the deposit can be returned. Germany implements a “casting net” collection system, making full use of the domestic garbage collection system, waste household appliance collection system, and packaging collection system in residential communities. Each collection is equipped with a designated collection box. Every week, trucks collecting garbage will clean up the garbage and used batteries at one time.


In the "recycling", German companies are even more successful. For example, a company grinds old batteries and sends them to the furnace for heating, which can extract volatile mercury, zinc, etc., manganese and iron can be fused to the ferromanganese alloy required for steelmaking; some companies extract iron from batteries. Metal mixtures such as manganese oxide, zinc oxide and copper oxide are directly sold as metal scraps; and enterprises have built "wet treatment" devices: first dissolve the batteries in sulfuric acid, and then extract various metal materials from the solution.


Swiss folk “recycling association” plays a role

“Do not discard old batteries at will, or even abandon storage batteries.” “Old batteries cannot be mixed with other garbage. They must be put into designated recycling bins and disposed of by the property.” In Switzerland, every community has such explicit provisions. This has become a household knowledge in Switzerland. According to the Swiss federal government, there are currently 14,300 discarded battery recycling bins throughout Switzerland, more than 30% of which are located in stores. Compared with the battery recycling rate of 25%-40% in other European countries, the Swiss government is not satisfied with the 66.4% achievements it has created, but has set the target at 80% or more.

One of the most important reasons why Switzerland can achieve such high recovery rates is that government legislation encourages the entire population to recycle and utilize renewable resources, and has successively formulated a series of laws and regulations. In addition, there are various types of civil “recycling associations” throughout Switzerland, which are responsible for close liaison between official institutions, retailers and even ordinary residents.

In Switzerland, different types of batteries are treated differently, including deep landfill, heat treatment (including vacuum heat treatment and high temperature heat treatment), and solution "wet treatment". Mixed heat treatments such as copper oxide, manganese oxide, and nickel oxide can also be obtained by heat treatment at different temperatures. Although the heat treatment process requires a lot of energy, the processing cost is relatively high, but the environmental impact is minimal, so Switzerland currently relies on this method to dispose of used batteries.


US car battery recycling rate is nearly 100%

In the United States, the recovery of automotive batteries is the best, with a recovery rate of almost 100%. In New York State, for example, the law stipulates that discarded car batteries are taken back to the retailer, or sent to a special recycling station, or placed in the garbage disposal site of the cleaning bureau. They must not be mixed with ordinary garbage and discarded. The law also stipulates that car battery retailers have the obligation to recycle two batteries per person for free every month; when consumers purchase car batteries, they must pay an additional $5 fee for future recycling.

In addition to car batteries, lead-acid batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries also have fixed-point recycling, and consumers can hand over used batteries to manufacturers, retailers or wholesalers. It is worth mentioning that some merchants will provide free battery recycling services. For example, in the Wal-Mart supermarket, there are used battery recycling bins, where customers can discard batteries from home electronics such as mobile phones, telephones, and computers. The counter in the watch department is also responsible for recycling the batteries in the watch.


French battery ads indicate recycling points

From January 1, 2001, the French producers who force the production and sale of batteries will collect, classify and recycle the batteries; the sellers must take back the used batteries from the consumers for free; it is forbidden to discard the batteries together with other garbage. It should be placed in a special collection container; the battery recycling point should be clearly marked and cleaned and transported regularly; when selling electrical appliances that are difficult to disassemble the battery, the store must recycle the relevant electrical appliances; the battery advertisement must also indicate the recycling point of the used battery. Recycling methods, etc.

In fact, the key to the disposal of used batteries is the collection and classification. Consumers must not only send waste batteries to the collection point, but also know how to distinguish the composition and classification of different batteries. At present, there are some companies in France that specialize in how to deal with the recycling of used batteries. The EU and the French government also give them financial subsidies and tax incentives.


Japan can seal the positive and negative batteries to throw

In 1991, Japan enacted the Law on Promoting the Utilization of Renewable Resources. It was revised and amended: In the small rechargeable battery, except for nickel-cadmium batteries, the recycling and reuse of nickel-metal hydride and lithium batteries should be the responsibility of the manufacturer. According to statistics, in 2005, there were about 57,000 tons of discarded batteries in Japan, and more than half of them were handled and reused by specialized companies such as Nomura Hiroshi and Dongbang Ya Lead. At present, there are more than 600,000 button battery dedicated recycling bins in shopping malls and 24-hour convenience stores across Japan.

In Japan, ordinary dry batteries are generally treated as non-burnable garbage, but before abandoning, it is required to seal the positive and negative electrodes of the battery with insulating tape, especially disposable lithium batteries. If there is still remaining electricity, it is very close to the metal. There may be fever, rupture, or even fire.

After the rechargeable batteries such as nickel cadmium and nickel hydride are recovered, they are transported to a dedicated battery processing plant for "regeneration". First, it is heated at a high temperature of 600 ° C to 800 ° C to convert the mercury into steam for separation. Most of the recovered mercury is used as a raw material such as a fluorescent lamp; iron, lead, manganese, nickel, etc. are separated and used as a new battery material or a magnetic material.


Button batteries are mostly used in small electronic products such as calculators and game consoles. "Alkaline button batteries" are quite popular in Japan. The recycling of such batteries is mainly for the extraction of metals such as iron, lead, nickel and manganese. The other is the “acidified silver button battery”. Because it contains precious silver metal, the main purpose of recycling is to extract the silver.


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