Lead acid battery recycling technology on its way to the UK

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Technology Minerals, which is developing what it says is the UK’s first sustainable circular economy for battery metals, has announced that its subsidiary, battery-recycling firm Recyclus Group, will take delivery of a lead acid battery breaker which is being shipped from Brazil. The breaker will arrive in the UK in mid-September 2021 and will become operational in the first quarter of 2022.

It will be installed at the firm’s plant in the Midlands, where Recylcus will use the breaker, a chemical processor, to separate the various lead elements, battery acids and plastics for re-use. The plant will industrialise what it says is traditionally a labour-intensive market, and will target a ‘zero to landfill’ and ‘zero to incinerator’ strategy for used lead acid battery stock.

Alex Stanbury, CEO of Technology Minerals and Director of Recyclus, said: “The lead battery market, globally, will reach US$95bn by 2026, and with a continued demand for vehicles this will increase. In the UK, the lead-acid battery recycling industry is also a major polluter.

Spent lead-acid batteries are incinerated, and 18,000 tonnes are produced each year in the UK. We have the opportunity to use hydrometallurgical processes to reduce the carbon footprint of lead-acid batteries by 85%, cut slag by over 90%, and recycle the plastics as well as the lead within these batteries to help meet increased demand. Our new plant on order from Brazil will help us to achieve those targets, and we look forward to having it fully operational by the first quarter of 2022.”