London-based Technology Minerals PLF has announced that Recyclus Group Ltd., London, a 49 percent Technology Minerals-owned company, has opened its first lead-acid battery recycling plant in Tipton, England. Operations at the facility will commence next month.
According to a news release from Technology Minerals, the Tipton plant is expected to increase Recyclus’ lead-acid battery recycling production capacity from an estimated 16,000 metric tons in the first full year of production, to about 80,000 metric tons by 2027.
The Tipton plant is designed to process up to 12 metric tons per hour of all types of lead-acid batteries and will have a fully automated, modular system that is capable of recycling lead-acid batteries without any gas or particle emissions going into the atmosphere, according to Technology Minerals.
The process breaks down the entire battery into separate constituent parts and recovers lead, acid and plastic materials. These materials can be recycled to support a wide range of industries. The hard lead can be used in grids and terminals, the soft lead for battery paste, and the sulfuric acid can be turned into fertilizers for agricultural use, electrolytes or gypsum for fiberboard construction.
By mechanizing a previously manual process for lead-acid battery recycling, Recyclus can prioritize the safety and sustainability of recycling processes to ensure that Recyclus is taking a responsible approach to battery recycling, the company says.
“With the opening of the lead-acid plant at Tipton, Recyclus is industrializing and mechanizing a long-established industry that has traditionally been very labor-intensive,” says Robin Brundle, chairman of Technology Minerals. “The efficiencies of the plant, combined with Recyclus’ processes, really modernize the sector and will assist in reducing the number of batteries that are either incinerated or, worse still, sent to landfill.”
Brundle says this is the first of 10 plants Recyclus is expected to open in the next six years. Recyclus plans to open a lithium-ion recycling facility in Wolverhampton, England, next month, and an update on the progress of the lithium plant will be provided soon.
The opening of the new plant comes weeks after Recyclus announced the opening of its first laboratory, facilitating in-house testing for lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling processes.