Battery Breaking process

The battery breaker takes in batteries and breaks them down into their constituent components. It also employs a de-sulphurisation process, which is unique to battery recycling in the UK and because it reduces the sulphur content of our raw materials, helps reduce our overall environmental impact.

Battery Breaking

Batteries are delivered directly into a purpose built warehouse, eliminating any risk of contamination. These batteries receive an initial ‘crush’, allowing the sulphuric acid to drain and be collected for further processing. They are then fed into a hammer mill to be broken up. The battery pieces are passed through a series of screens, “float/sink” tanks and filters to separate the metallic components, lead paste, polypropylene and other plastics. Next metallic components are transferred into a separate storage area prior to furnace charging.  The lead paste undergoes a desulphurisation process detailed below before being stored for furnace charging.

Polypropylene is separated from other plastic compounds and stored, before being sold to specialist recyclers.  The other plastics, mainly polyethylene separators are washed and stored before transfer off-site.

Paste de-sulphurisation

Battery paste is de-sulphurised using sodium carbonate before being stored ready for smelting. Previously collected battery acid is also converted to sodium sulphate in the same process. We sell sodium sulphate to the chemical industry for use as a bulking agent for washing powder and have gained FEMAS accreditation allowing our sodium sulphate to be used in the animal feed industry.

Envirowales is the only plant in the UK to use this de-sulphurisation process. This has major environmental benefits significantly reducing any sulphur discharge, a major component of ‘acid rain’.