Battery recycling business Recyclus has begun operations at its first lead-acid battery recycling plant in West Midlands, UK.
The Tipton plant aims to increase Recyclus’ lead-acid battery recycling production capacity from around 16,000 tonnes in the first full year of production, to 80,000 tonnes by 2027.
Recyclus, which is 49% owned Technology Minerals, says it can extract the lead-acid paste using water, converting it into 99.99% leady oxide (Pb/PbO).
The plant is designed to process up to 12 tonnes an hour of all types of lead-acid batteries, and will have a fully automated, modular system that is capable of recycling batteries without any gas or particle emissions going into the atmosphere, claim the firm.
The recycled hard lead can be used in battery grids and terminals, the soft lead for battery paste and the sulphuric acid can be turned into fertilisers for agricultural use, electrolytes, or turned into gypsum for fibre board construction.
The opening of the new plant comes after Recyclus announced the opening of its first laboratory that will carry out in-house testing for both lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling processe using equipment including an X-ray fluorescence machine.
Recyclus aims to add a lithium-ion recycling facility in Wolverhampton, UK in February.
Recyclus was launched in 2019, with Technology Minerals launching last November after raising £1.5 million before expenses as part of its initial public offer (IPO) in London and £5 million pre-IPO.
Last year, the firm announced plans to process 12 tonnes of lead-acid batteries per-hour, in a total of five plants in UK within ten years.
Recyclus’ optimistic plans in September came at a time when the UK collected 7,573 tonnes of lead batteries during the first two quarters of 2021, according to figures published by the Environment Agency on the National Packaging Waste Database
The agency reported in March 2020 that the UK collected 10,746 tonnes of lead batteries during 2019, and 1,212 tonnes of lead batteries placed on the market that year.