We can consider that a battery is old when:
- Its performance is less than 30% of its original capacity.
- At 3-5 years of life time.
We can verify this by performing a capacity test to measure its voltage and discharge time.
What to do when you confirm that your used forklift batteries are no longer good? Learn all about battery recycling in this article and take advantage of the resources that you can obtain by reusing it.
Why can’t we just throw away a battery?
Batteries used for forklifts of all kinds, especially industrial batteries cannot be disposed of as normal garbage and are highly polluting for the environment due to their high content of heavy metals.
They are considered hazardous waste so they require special handling granted by the regulations of “Recycling Permit for Lead Acid Batteries”.
Ways to take advantage of your batteries
Depending on the state in which they are, there are several options to make the most of them:
Do a capacity test to see if it is possible to recover a percentage of its load capacity.
Check if its use is feasible in a less demanding operation. If its original capacity was for periods of 6 to 8 hours, a less demanding one could be in days of 2 to 3 hours.
Recycle them to take advantage of their materials and recover part of the cost to acquire new ones.
Battery recycling process
During this process, it is important to follow a sustainable model because of how critical it is to take care of our environment today.
The number of times lead can be recycled is indefinite making it extremely cost effective to reuse.
In addition, the energy expenditure to work primary lead is of greater environmental impact and energy expenditure than recycled lead.
Because of this, the industry must operate with a circular economy to take advantage of all the material.
Battery recycling steps
The recycled materials used in our batteries are provided by our sister company Electrical Automatize Omega, who processes them by following these steps:
- Collection / collection
-Batteries of any age
-Only lead acid batteries
- Once the battery has been selected to start the recycling process, proceed to:
-Record your weight.
-Generate a record of “Waste Manifest”, this document is requested by the authority for the traceability of the waste.
- Start of logistics to receive materials at the plant.
- Review and verification of the correct manifest and inspection of the residue to avoid mixing used forklift batteries other than lead.
- Manual disassembly of the metallic structure to separate its components.
- Grinding process to separate the materials that make it up:
The battery comes in steel trays; you have to remove this “shell” to access the cells.
Entering the materials into a rotary hammer mill that operates at speeds of 10 ton / hr.-Separate the metallic lead from the plastic by means of a flotation process and counter flow current, obtaining the bridges, terminals and pieces of metallic grid.
Subsequently, a second separation is carried out by passing the materials through a rotating screen to separate the lead oxide paste (active material) from the plastic of the battery.
Finish with a wash of the ground plastic to remove the acidity.
- Filtering paste and acid neutralization:
The pulp separated on the screen is sent to a “filter-press” system where the solid is separated from the spent battery acid. This spent acid is neutralized and filtered to obtain water for industrial use with a pH between 6 and 9 for internal consumption in the plant.
Gypsum or calcium sulfate waste is delivered to landfill as hazardous waste.
- Recycling of the plastic obtained:
– Carry out the washing and neutralization of the plastic.
-Go through a fine grinding process.
-Extrusion of plastic to obtain plastic pellets.
With this material, the jars for the new battery cells are manufactured with the support of our partner “Ind Polypro”.