Each of us has probably used batteries in our lives. Remotes, watches, toys, phones, a host of other things – there is always something in the house that runs on batteries.
And it has long been known that you can’t just throw them in the trash. The same applies to batteries. For this, there are special places for the disposal of such waste.
But not everyone knows where these batteries go next. Until 2019, there was only one plant in Russia that deals with their disposal and processing – GC “Megapolisresurs”.
Why batteries need to be disposed of properly
One battery thrown into a landfill is capable of pollute about 20 square meters of soil and 400 liters of water.
If you throw it away with ordinary garbage, it will be extremely harmful to the environment. In particular:
• they release mercury, cadmium, lead, so they can cause diseases from nervous disorders to cancer
• they oxidize and may explode
• soil, water and air are polluted, and then contaminated food, water and air enter your body
• they take more than 100 years to decompose
Of course, this does not mean that all life on Earth will die instantly – this harm has cumulative effect. And it will be very noticeable after many years.
Used batteries are transported from all regions to Megapolisresurs Group of Companies. There is also a second plant from the National Ecological Company, which is located in Yaroslavl. But today we will focus on the oldest representative of the industry in Russia.
How a plant in Chelyabinsk began to recycle batteries
Initially, Megapolisresurs dealt with non-ferrous scrap and waste containing precious metals. First of all, these are photographic materials (film, x-rays, and so on). Where there is black in the image, silver crystals can be extracted.
First applications for battery recycling received in 2013 from the community for the separate collection of waste. Then the plant decided to retrain the work at existing capacities.
A month after the application, a new appeal appeared from the Committee for the Improvement of St. Petersburg. Then it was up to word of mouth.
Commercial organizations that wanted to get involved in recycling were Media Markt and IKEA. Then VkusVill and small producers of eco-products joined in, and then everyone else.
How batteries are recycled at a plant in Chelyabinsk
Recycling one battery saves 1,000 liters of water and prevents 250 grams of waste from the extraction of raw materials. If all of them are processed correctly, over 15,000 tons of pure zinc, manganese, iron and graphite can be obtained for ferrous metallurgy, mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, the chemical industry and industry. And this is only in Russia.
The entire recycling process takes place in five stages:
2. Crushing and magnetic separation
3. Electrolyte flush
4. Extraction of non-ferrous metals
5. Graphite Filtration
At the first stage, batteries and accumulators are manually sorted into chemical types. If their composition is initially unclear, they are sent to a laboratory where they conduct special experiments and determine the type of battery.
A special stand contains all types of batteries, the moment of sorting. A photo Kommersant
At the second stage, they are crushed in an industrial shredder. The iron shell is separated from the internal contents by means of a magnetic separator.
Then the contents of the batteries are washed from the electrolyte, which is subsequently used to neutralize acids. After the water is returned back to the cycle.
Conveyor with incoming batteries
Non-ferrous metals or salts are extracted by electrolysis from the active mass. Processing efficiency the most common alkaline batteries is 94,4%.
Extraction of non-ferrous metals
In the last step, insoluble graphite is filtered out. It is used in anti-friction materials, such as finished lubricants for bicycles.
At the output, the plant receives black scrap (steel shell of batteries), copper powder, manganese dioxide and zinc powder.
Interesting statistics from the company:
▪️ one sorter sorts 600 kg of batteries per shift
▪️ 7 chemical types are taken into account when sorting
▪️ full recycling cycle takes 4 days
What is used for battery recycling
The company itself does not specify the equipment used. However, a facility for shredding, recycling and disposing of batteries is usually used. For example, the FLEX 400 Industry hammer mill – 37 kW, as well as various containers.
The installation usually includes:
• Unloading hopper
• Control Panel
• Magnetic separator
• Belt conveyor
• Vibrating sieve
• Special mill
First, the energy sources enter the vibratory conveyor. This is required for distribution.
Moving along the belt transport, the galvanic cells enter the mill for grinding. It allows you to make them a homogeneous mass. At this moment, the raw materials are separated from the common heap in a special separator. And the remains in the form of a black mass are neutralized and taken away to a special place for burial.
Where can I take batteries and accumulators for recycling?
For this, there are special services that show recycling points directly on the map. For example, on official website of GC “Megapolisresurs”. It is also easy to search for points on Yandex.Maps, Apple maps and others.
It is best to store batteries and accumulators in an airtight container until shipping. And then bring and put them in a special container at any of the available points in the country.
📸 All photos in the article:
Source: iPhones.ru — Новости высоких технологий, обзоры смартфонов, презентации Apple by www.iphones.ru.
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