How Car Batteries are Recycled

If you are a vehicle owner who has the right concerns for the environment and the scarcity of resources that mankind is facing, you might want to reduce the harmful effect of the automobile industry on the planet. Knowing well about the dangers that are caused by the lead-based car batteries, you can have the question recurring in your mind, are car batteries recycled? If yes, then how?

We had the same question in our mind and out of sheer curiosity asked one of the experienced staffs at the Smithfield Chevrolet dealer, about the Recycling of these batteries. He was very happy to explain that in these days of universal resource crisis, the recycling of car batteries is no more an option but an essential necessity. Any average lead-acid car battery that contains as much as a quantity of 20 pounds of lead, if not disposed of properly, can cause high toxicity in the surrounding environment as the metal used in these batteries can emit harmful liquids which are dangerous for both humans and environment.

And he explained the entire process of car battery recycling step by step as we share with you here:

Dropping off the Battery

It all starts with the dropping off the battery, by carrying it to a recycling center, or at any auto parts store.

Breaking it Down

After a dead battery is received at a recycling center, the recycling process of the battery will be done by simply breaking it down. There is a simple machine called hammer mill that is used in these recycling plants to break down the car battery into pieces. In the process, the sulfuric acid component present in the battery is collected and stored separately from the broken chunks of the battery.

Segregation of Remaining Materials

A car battery is composed mainly of lead and plastic. To take the next step of recycling it needs to have these components as separate materials. While the broken pieces of the battery are placed inside a vat filled with liquid, the lead part sinks to the bottom of the vat due to its heavy weight. At the same time, the plastic would start floating at the top, making it all easy to collect them and be removed. This process of separation is done to conduct a separate process of recycling of each of these components.

Recycling of the Plastic

The pieces of plastic gathered from the battery remnants are melted down and completely liquefied. From there, this entire mass of molten plastic is run through an extruder that converts this liquid plastic into tiny plastic pellets that are later on used to create the cases for the new car batteries.

Recycling of the Lead

The expert at the Smithfield Chevrolet dealer carried on and said that the lead is the toughest component of the battery is placed inside a smelting furnace to melt down. As the lead gets molten and liquefied it is stored into several ingot molds and is allowed to cool down until they harden up and then they are taken away from the molds to get separated from its impure parts and then gets melted again for the making of new batteries.

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