What Happens When a Battery is Recycled?

At Direct Metals Recycling in Macon, GA, we recycle lead batteries. Have you ever wondered what happens to your car battery after you recycle it? The process is quite interesting, and you might be surprised about where that used battery acid goes after it is extracted from your old battery.

Step 1 – Break DownRecycling Lead Batteries

The first step to recycling a lead car battery is breaking it apart. The battery is placed in a crusher that breaks the battery into pieces.

Step 2 – The Vat

All of the broken battery pieces are placed into a vat. Here, the plastic will rise to the top while the lead and other heavy metals will sink to the bottom. At this point, the plastic is scooped off of the top and the liquids are drawn off.

Step 3 – Start Recycling

Now that the battery had been broken down into its various parts, each material can be recycled.

The Plastic

The plastic is washed, dried, and sent off to be melted down and extruded into pellets that are all the same size. Then, the plastic pellets are sent off to be made into new battery cases.

The Lead

All of the lead parts of the battery are heated, melted down, and poured into molds. At this point, when the metal is molten, the impurities float to the top and can be scraped off leaving only pure lead. After the lead cools and hardens, it is sent off to be made into new lead cores.

The Acid

Probably one of the most interesting parts of the battery recycling process is the acid. The acid can be recycled in one of two ways. One, it can be converted into sodium sulfate which is then used in the manufacturing process of detergents, glass, and textiles. Two, it is put into your water supply! Not directly, of course. First, the acid is neutralized with something similar to house hold baking soda. Neutralizing the acid turns it into water. The water is then treated, cleaned, and tested before it is introduced back into the water supply.

If your lead car battery has seen its better days, bring it to Direct Metals Recycling in Macon, GA. We will give it a fresh start and get it on its way to becoming a new battery once again.