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What is a battery? Why is there a need for recycling? What is the life span of a battery? Which are the various user groups? How much lead is consumed for battery production? How batteries are recycled in India? 6.1 6.2 Collection and Distribution Smelting and Recycling

1 1 1 1 3 4 4 4 4 6 7 9 11 12 13 13 14

6,2,1 How battery is recycled under proper conditions? 7 8 9 What is the Indian scenario for secondary lead smelting? What is the demand supply gap for lead in battery manufacturing? What is the economics of recycling?

10 What are the effects of lead smelting on environment & human health? 11 What are the policy initiatives taken in India for recycling of batteries? 12 What is the legal position in India? 13 What is the International scenario in recycling? 14 What should be the solution to this problem?

Lead acid batter recycling in India

1. What is a battery?

Battery is a power supply system, which is critical to transportation, communication, electric utilities and also functions as an emergency backup system. There is great utility of battery in our day to day life and it has mainly lead (70%), acid (20%) and plastic case (10%). The main manufacturers of batteries in the organized sector are Exide, Amco, Amara Raja and Tudor. 2. Why is there a need for recycling?

The manifold increase in the automotive vehicles on roads as well as in various other applications has increased the demand for lead acid batteries. With so many batteries in use, their disposal and recycling is of paramount importance. The spent battery is 99% recyclable, if processed in proper facility and under environmental friendly conditions. The lead is the most recycled metal and more than 50% world demand is met by the secondary lead itself. The spent battery should be seen as a lead resource, as in 1999-2000 approximately 110,000 MT of lead would be available from automobile sector alone. In absence of proper smelting facilities and legislation regarding the recycling of lead acid batteries, they find their way to backyard smelting units. The backyard smelters recover lead from these batteries in a very crude manner, which degrades the surrounding area and also affects the workers. According to DPCC, lead emissions from the 45 odd illegal lead smelters shut down recently in the capital would be equivalent of almost 8 lakh cars using leaded petrol. A colossal 60,000 MT of lead from batteries is illegally recycled in India each year in hundreds of backyard smelters. 3. What is the life span of a battery?

Under ideal conditions, a SLI battery can last, as long as six years, but in normal operation battery life is much shorter than this. Battery Council International (BCI) surveys in the USA provide useful insights into the key factors in the operating environment of SLI batteries that might affect their longevity. The most comprehensive analysis, and the one to which industry analyst most commonly refer, is the study by Yuasa battery (America) Inc. It was found out that climate is an important factor, as batterys efficiency varies with particular extremes of temperature and battery failure is more closely associated with extreme cold. The other key influences are poor road conditions and inadequate battery maintenance. In India the life of lead-acid batteries is estimated to be 21ii months. A batterys life span suggests that after every 2 years, a battery has to be replaced by a new one.


Which are the various user groups?

The battery is used by many sectors like automobile, power, Tele -communication, transport etc. for various uses. The major consumer is the automobile sector, which consumes nearly 70% of the total battery productioniii . The rapid growth in the automobile sector since 1993 is expected to put the annual growth of lead demand on a double-digit trajectory. Demand can increase by about 10 percent every yeariv . More than 50% of the battery consumption is in government sector such as Defence, State Transport Authorities, Railways and Tele-communication. A report by India Zinc Information centre has estimated the demand for lead in the year 1999 and 2000 as cited in table 1. Table 1 Lead consumption in batteries for the various user sectors. User sector Automobile 1998-1999 8 1999-2000 70

Rlys. And other sectors Total for battery sector Other applications of lead Total demand Estimated production Source: ILZDA (I thousand tones)

27 90 48 138 80

30 100 54 154 80

In India, the relaxation of government controls on automobile industry since 1991, has caused a transformation, with a major expansion of capacity, an increase in the number of producers and a growing range of joint-venture agreements with foreign manufactures (including Daewoo, General Motors, Mistubishi, Honda and Hyundai). This has lead to influx of many of passenger cars on the Indian roads and more use of car starting, lighting, ignition (SLI) batteries. To meet this increasing demand in automobile sector, Exide industries are targeting a capacity of 5 million industrial and automotive batteries by the year 2000. The sales of passenger cars alone are estimated to touch 1 million mark by 2000. This means increased demand of lead for the manufacture of batteries which has to be met by the existing primary a nd secondary lead resources. The whole emerging scenario makes it mandatory to lay more emphasis on the battery recycling by safer technologies.

GRAPH? As per the graph, 70% of the total lead consumption goes in battery production for automobile sector and 56% of the total battery consumption is in this sectorv . As reported by Automobile Association of Indian Manufacturer (AAIM), till April 99 the car sale showed an increase of 51.6% due to buoyancy in the market.

Railway is the second largest consumer of the lead acid batteries after automotive sector. The 15% of the total lead consumption go for battery manufacture in this sector and the demand in the railways has remained more or less the same. The various usage of batteries in railways is given in the table below. Table 2 Battery consumption in Railways -1997-98 Items Battery consumption (in nos.) Diesel locomotive 4250 Electric locomotive 2150 Passenger coaches 34,000 Railway stations 7,500 Signaling installations 50,000 Telephone exchange 1,00,000 Telecommunication installations 1,00,000 Total 2,57,500 Source: The Battery Society of India 5. How much lead is consumed for battery production?

The Government owned Hindustan Zinc Limited, Rajasthan, which produces more than one third of the national demand, solely uses the primary lead resources. Except for a handful of larger private smelters such as the Mumbai based, Indian Lead Ltd., Tripathy Chemical Ltd. And Associated Pigments Ltd. based in Calcutta; the lead supply industry is liberally peppered with small and backyard smelters. After the Basel Ban and Supreme Court orders, the secondary industry feeds domestically generated waste and scrap material including battery scrap, sheathing cables, slag, ash, dross and residue. The recovered lead is ploughed back into the manufacturing sector for lead acid batteries, solder wire, PVC etc. Table 3: Year -wise total lead production and

its consumption in battery manufacture


Total lead Lead consumed for consumption batteries (MT)*B (MT)A 1984-85 61,000 42,7000 1985-86 65,000 45,000 1986-87 70,000 49,000 1987-88 73,000 51,000 1988-89 75,800 53,060 1989-90 80,000 56,000 1990-91 84,000 58,800 1991-92 88,200 61,740 1992-93 92,600 64,820 1993-94 76,518 53,563 1994-95 92,699 64,889 1995-96 84,155 58,909 1996-97 80,378 56,517 1997-98 58,059 Source: The Battery Society of India * Note: B=70% of A. As according to ILZDA the lead used for battery manufacture amounts to 70% of the total production. And the secondary lead production accounts for 45.6% of the total lead production. The lead acid battery on an average consumes 28-50 kgs of lead depending upon the make and the number of plates used. The SLI (starting, lighting and ignition) batteries, which are used in cars, trucks, buses, etc. is the largest category of end use for lead followed by batteries to power electric vehicles such as fork lift trucks, airport ground support vehicles, delivery vans and golf carts. The third largest category is industrial batteries such as those used for standby power supply system, electrical energy supplies for telephone exchanges, public buildings, hospitals and various industriesvi . 6. How batteries are recycled in India?

There are only handful of Indian lead industries in the organized sector involved in the manufacture of non-ferrous metals and majorities of the industries are in unorganized sector. The secondary unorganized lead-smelting plants in India are the biggest threat to environment from the point of view of lead contamination. These units collect the spent batteries from different dealers, break them and recover the lead from small beats without any control equipment. 6.1. Collection and Distribution

There is no organized collection mechanism for spent batteries in both formal and informal sector. More than 50% of batteries is consumed by the government departments and the Metal and Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), is responsible for open auctions of spent lead acid batteries. In MSTCs auctions of spent lead acid batteries, defence sector constitute 90% of the scrap followed by National Thermal Power Plant (NTPC) and State Transport Corporations. Till November 1998, MSTC used to auction lead acid batteries to any bidder irrespective of their smelting facilities. They now claim that, with strict regulation on compliance with environmental norms, batteries are auctioned to units with proper license from CPCB and SPCBs. Now MSTC is doing very limited auction of lead acid batteries because prices quoted by authorized sme lters are very low and thus less profitable for them. According to the MSTC, this has led to piling of batteries at the defense depots and various other places.

Even though automobile sector is one of the largest consumers of batteries, there is no proper collection system, as found in the developed countries. While taking to various service stations and garages in Delhi it was found, that there is a practice of exchange of old battery with discount of Rs. 150 -200 on new battery. The old batteries are reused in some cases or it is sold to scrap dealers at the rate of Rs. 15 per kg. According to a battery supplier Mr. Naresh (Som batteries), who also collects spent batteries from various garages, they dont keep a check on who buys these batteries and where they are smelted. Railways, which is the second largest battery user after the automobile sector, auctioned about 347.4 MT (northern sector only) of spent batteries at the rate of Rs. 15060 per MT in year 1998-99. This means around 282.8 MT of lead can be recovered from these spent batteries, which can be further used to manufacture new batteries or other applications. The batteries were auctioned to any bidder irrespective of their smelting facilities. The railway has been auctioning scrap batteries at regular intervals and the data for northern sector for the year 1998-99 has been given below in table: Table 4: Battery scrap auctioned by railways in 1998-99 S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 28 Qt in MT Rate / MT Date Place

Source: Controller of Stores (Northern Sector) Railways is divided into five such sectors, which suggests that how many batteries are auctioned per sector in a year. 6.2. Smelting and Recycling

Used automobile batteries are a major source of lead for the secondary smelters and a recent growth of the automobile industry without a simultaneous growth of organized lead acid battery recycling sector has resulted in magnification of this problem. 6.2.1 How battery is recycled under proper conditions?

The batteries are collected from the various sources, like retailers and through open auction. The batteries are then transported to the smelting facility for further processing. The various stages of the recycling are discussed below.

Battery breaking

The lead acid batteries are broken and for recovery of lead the top portion of the battery is removed, at the same time the acid is drained out for neutralization. The top portion is transported to hammer mill, where plastic is shredded and the lead posts fixed in the top are released. In Indian smelting facilities batteries are broken by hand and worker engaged in this activity are exposed to occupational health problems . The remainder of the case with its contents of battery plates is passed into trommel, from which plates are extracted. The plastic is separated, cleaned, dried and then sold as reclaimed polypropylene. The lead post and oxide, which have passed through the mill, are extracted via clarifiers and are stockpiled for furnace feed.

Furnace smelting

Three main constituents, make up a charge for lead smelting viz the lead bearing materials reducing agents and oxygen. Two reducing agents viz. iron turning and coke are utilized, and sodium carbonate is used for slag formation. All the material is charged into the furnace during one operation and through the rotary action of furnace, satisfactory mixing is achieved. Upon smelting for approximately 5 hours at over 1000 C the lead and slag are tapped separately. The bullion lead tapped usually contains 1.5% antimony, 0.1% tin and 0.05% copper with other trace metals. The slag is tapped, cooled, broken and disposed and the recovered lead with impurities is then sent to refinery for specificationvii.


They bullion lead is cleaned of molten oxides and sulphides by lowering the temperatures of the lead thereby decreasing solubility of the impurities. After removal of oxides and sulphides the metal is treated for alloy specification to remove metals like copper, tin, antimony, etc. Once the metal is purified, it is cast into lead ingots and reused for various purposes like in car radiators, solders, cable sheathing, plumbing and electronics.

Pollution control measures

The environmental problem in lead extraction is the emission of lead dust, fumes, and SO2 in and around workplace. The smelting operations generate h uge quantity of flue gases, which are required to be cleaned/de-dusted before releasing to the atmosphere. The best method of arresting the minute dust particle is to employ a bag filter or filter fabric, where these gases are cooled and passed to collect the dust particles viii.


How batteries are smelted in backyard smelting units?

In case of the backyard smelting, the only requirement is a wok (Kadhai) and stove, batteries are broken down to recover the battery top and then placed in mud furnace called bhatti to melt them. The coke power is added and then air is blown into it, to raise the temperature. Once the lead is melted then, it is transferred into another bhatti to remove the impurities based on the difference in the melting points. The recovered lead, is then poured into mould to make pellets and is sold at the rate of 32-36 Rs. per kg. The plastic casing are also sold and the acid is drained out as it not recyclable. The fumes coming out during this process are let into the atmosphere without any treatment. 7. What is the Indian scenario for secondary lead smelting?

According to CPCB there are only two lead smelting units viz, Indian lead Limited in Maharastra and Tirupathy Chemicals Limited in Punjab, which have proper facilities to check pollution. But most of the automotive batteries are smelted in the secondary backyard smelters as after being replaced in garages, the spent batteries are sold to scrap dealers and smelted in backyard smelters. Smelters in the unorganized sector have a track record of environmental negligence and mismanagement. In 1994, several cattle deaths due to lead poisoning in a village near New Delhi were traced to 23 unlicensed lead smelting units in the vicinity. Mr. R.K. Goel, (Chairman, Delhi Pollution Control Committee), told that DPCC recently closed 46 illegal lead units in Delhi, owing to their status as highly polluting and hazardous. He says there is not a single legalized lead smelter in Delhi, a this has been listed as a H category industry and according to the master plan such industries are not allowed to function in Delhi. He also stated that it is very difficult to keep a check on the resurfacing of these units, as a lead-smelting unit can be set up within 24 hours with minimum requirement of a stove and a container and on an average, generates Rs. 10,000 a day. Earlier MSTC used to auction approximately 40-50 thousand tons of scrap batteries but now the quantity has gone down owing to strict regulations. To comply with the CPCB notification now they ask bidders to produce a certificate from the concerned SPCBs authorization under Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules. The battery scrap which used to sell at the rate of 16-19 Rs/kg earlier is now selling at 12-14 Rs/kg, as there are only two bidders. They have started separating the battery scrap from the other things to be auctioned and prepare a separate tender only for lead acid battery scrap. Manager. MSTC said that they cancel the auction in cases of less price quotation or lack of proper bidders. He also said the Government should provide more proper smelting facilities before passing any Public notice otherwise it becomes very difficult to comply. In the absence of the authorized bidders the batteries are now lying at the defence and transport depot. And owing to this transport corporations have started auctioning these scrap batteries on their own, to smelters without a proper license. 8. What is the demand supply gap for lead in battery manufacturing?

The rise in the automobile sector as well as increased use of battery application will further increase the demand for lead in the coming years. The Basel Ban has restricted the import of lead acid battery scrap for recycling, which earlier was the major source of secondary lead production. The demand-supply gap for lead acid batteries in the coming five year plans are given below; Table: 5 The Demand-Supply Gap for lead in lead acid batteries (in MT) Years Demand Supply Gap 99-2000 73500 54950 -18550 2006-2007 135100 54950 -129605 2011-2012 189490 54950 -134540 Source: 9 th five year plan, working group report, Ministry of Mines

The supply is catered either by the primary or secondary sources, the only primary source is the Hindustan Zinc Limited which produces 35,812 MT (total primary lead production for the year 97-98). The secondary lead production in the organized sector is 22,247 MT (total secondary lead production for the year 97-98) and in unorganized sector, the production is not known, as it is mostly in the backyard units. The total lead produced doesnt even fulfill the demand for the lead acid batteries alone, thus leaving a huge gap, which can either be done through import or recycling of batteries which is major lead sources. The secondary lead production by the three smelters viz, India Lead Limited (both units), Thrupathy Chemicals Ltd. (Ludhiana) and Associated Pigments Limited (Calcutta) is only 24,000 MT. The capacity of these smelters and the production is given below: Table : 6 Secondary Lead Production by authorized Smelters Capacity 24,000 10,000 15,000 Production 12,682 -

Secondary smelters Indian Lead Limited (both units) Tirupathy Chemicals Ltd. Associated Pigments Ltd. Source: ILZDA

The above data shows that, these smelters are not running to their full capacity because of non-availability of lead acid battery scrap. The ban on import and lack of in house battery collection system has hit these smelters, and due to which Hindustan Zinc Limited closed down its smelter in Vizag. The Indian Lead Limited is running at 50% capacity whereas the other two are running at just 10-15% of their total capacity. To incorporate various environmental costs, the smelter should run on a large scale and to its full capacity. In some of the Western Countries the lead demand is met solely by the secondary sources whereas in India the battery manufacturers are importing lead from other countries like Australia, USA and Korea. The imported primary lead as well as produced within India will soon end up as scrap unless collected and recycled in environmentally friendly conditions. The battery demand only in the automobile sector is calculated with projected vehicle population in India in 2001 AD. Table: 7 Calculated battery demand for automobile sector for 2001 AD Year 2-Wheeler 3-Wheeler Cars Jeeps LCV,M & H Tractor * 94 -95 19,877,767 1,025,541 3,140,673 620,902 2,180,380 1,713,595 * 95 -96 21,948,767 1,123,641 3,402,273 686,302 2,338,430 1,876,005 # 20 00-01 35,318,767 1,755,705 5,081,690 1,108,690 3,348,835 2,922,187 (Source: Tifac report) * population arrived after reducing scrapage @ 2% # population arrived after reducing scrapage @ 1.5% The average life span of the battery is 21 months and the battery used in 95-96 will now be available for recycling as scrap. Assuming lead recovery of 5 k per battery and say that some 23,000,000 batteries are returned from the vehicle population mentioned in 1995-96, the present tonnage of domestically generated vehicle battery scrap can be estimated at about 11,500,000 MT of lead. This much amount of lead will be available for recycling by the organized and the backyard smelterix. Schematic diagram showing battery recycling Transportation The same tranportation network used to distribute new Batteries safely, trucks spent Batteries from the point of exchange to recycling plant.

Total 28,558,858 31,375,418 49,535,982

Spent Batteries

At the recycling facility spent batteries broken apart and separated into components to begin the recycling process.
Plastic Plastic pellets ----------Lead Battery Acid -option 1 Battery Acid Option 2


What is the economics of recycling?

The recycling of spent batteries in the proper facilities involves high costs as it also includes the cost of pollution abatement. But if done on a large scale, the environmental cost is absorbed. On the other hand, backyard secondary smelting is quite profitable as it involves meager infrastructure cost and there is no burden for the environmental cost.

In organized Sector

In India, if the estimated investment of a new lead acid battery manufacturing unit with proper pollution control equipment is estimated to be 40 crores, including capital, insurance, utilities, maintenance and operating cost, then the cost of control system to check the particulate matter into the air may amount to Rs. 2 crores, or 5% of the total cost. Further Rs. 2 crores of capital investment is required to bring the lead level in the effluent under controlx (Source: N. Bhattacharya, Standard Batteries). Hence it must operate on a very large scale to absorb the environmental costs.

In un-organised sector

An unlicensed unit in India requires a capital cost of Rs. 50 to 60 thousand for processing 500 kg/day. The costs of secondary lead coming from the unorganized sector is far less than the one coming from a legal smelter running with all pollution control equipment because of the capital investment involved in setting up an environmentally sound facility and on excise duty paymentxi . Thus, even the industry prefers to buy lead from the unlicensed units. The lead recovered by most of the unorganized sector is used by the local battery manufacturing units. Batteries even from the organized sector goes to the backyard smelters and recovered lead is used in local batteries. Gokhala market in Delhi (near ISBT), is one of the many places where spent batteries are repaired and reconditioned. These battery manufacturer also buy the spent batteries at the rate of 16 Rs/kg and then battery is broken down to separate the lead plates. These lead plates are given to backyard smelters in Alipur for smelting and the battery manufacturers buy back the lead for making battery plates. The plastic casing is reused in assembling the new batteries but the acid inside is disposed. When we checked the battery making shop, we even saw the lead being smelted on a stove and the whole area resembled a scrapyard. There are many shops selling these local batteries and price of some of the widely used local and Exide batteries are given below:

Table 8: Price comparision of local and Exide batteries Type Van Car Truck Tractor 9 plate 7 plate 25 plate 15 plate Local Battery Price (in Rs.) Rs. 850 Rs. 750 Rs. 3000 Rs. 1750 Exide Battery Price (in Rs.) 1300 1400 5500 3000

The low price of a local battery as compared to Exide raises a question about their manufacturing process and the raw material used in it. These local batteries dont last long and their life span varies between 7-9 months, which means that recycling rate for these is very high. This doesnt affect the local battery manufacturer as the lead used in it remains intact and is recycled again by backyard smelter to be used in new battery again. 10. What are the effects of lead smelting on environment and human health?

The manufacturing as well as lead smelting processes of lead-acid batteries in unorganized sector and vehicles using leaded gasoline are the major sources of lead emissions in addition to the indirect sources. The lead emission sources and rate of lead emission from lead-acid batterys manufacturing plants and secondary smelters age given below. Table 9: Particulate Matter and lead emission from Lead-acid battery manufacturing industries and secondary lead smelters. Process Type Grid casting Oxide milling Plate cutting Assembling Paste mixing Smelter stack Conc. Mg/Nm3 30.8 21.8 113.04 50.5 55.3 21,540 Lead in dust 2.2 8.5 30.7 6.9 22.2 11048

Sources Battery Manufacturing Industries

Secondary lead smelters Source: CPCB

The unorganized lead-acid battery manufacturing industries and secondary lead smelters are predominating in polluting the air by belching lead in the form of fumes and dust. The backyard lead smelters are responsible for episodic lead poisoning because of their location and occurrence in clusters the magnitude of lead dust from them is very high, which pollutes the ecosystem severely. A study done by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in the Nangloi Mundka area of Delhi in year 1994 revealed very high concentration of lead in the soil (72 to 2062 mg/kg). This is against the normal levels of (5 to 25 mg/kg), ground water and grass (157 to 4467 mg/kg) against the normal 1 mg/kg) in the areaxii. DPCC, on the basis of this report closed down 110 smelting units in Delhi even before the Supreme Court order banning the operation of lead units. In 1996, the Court ordered the closure or relocation of identified hazardous industries under Delhi Master Plan 2001. Irrespective of ban, some of the units again resurfaced in 1998, as DPCC officials traced down 16 illegal lead smelting units, where several tons of lead and thousands of used automobile batteries were found. Indian Lead Ltd. Which is commonly cited a s one of the best secondary lead smelting unit, as it has invested in pollution control devices, runs under condition hazardous to the environment and the workers. Workers and residents, especially children, in the vicinity are exposed to significantly high levels of lead which could manifest itself as health disorders.

Waste-waters from Indian Leads plant contain 615 times more lead than is permissible under Indian regulations. Cadmium and Zinc levels are four and ten times higher respectively than the permissible levels. Even the sediment samples showed higher levels of these three metals indicating long term discharge of contaminated waste waters xvi. A small pilot study carried out by Professor Veena Kalra at AIIMS has revealed that a whopping 70 percent, of Delhis school going children have unacceptably high levels of lead in their blood. It is a serious public health issue as intelligence quotient (IQ) levels are shown to be inversely proportional to blood lead levels, if other confounding variables are discounted. The likely effects include decreased intelligence, impaired neuro-behavioral development and decreased stature or growth. Anemia, hypertension and kidney damage can also result.

Box 1 Lead is one of the most pervasive and toxic, of all environmental contaminants. Infants and the school going children are most affected in case of lead intake and absorption. Several scientific evidence showed that some of adverse effects occur at blood lead levels as low as 10 g/dl in childrenxiii. Lower levels cause adverse effects on the central nervous system, kidney and haematopoietic system. The classic neurological symptoms cause encephalopathy in children and periphery neurotoxicity in adults xiv. High blood lead levels during pregnancy are correlated with higher frequency of stillbirths and miscarriages, and transplacental transport of lead can damage central nervous of the foetusxv .

11. What are the policy initiatives taken in India for recycling of batteries?

A High Power Committee on management of Hazardous Waste was constituted in accordance with Supreme Court order dated 13th October 1997 in writ petition no 657/1995 by Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology under the chairmanship of Professor M.G.K. Menon.

This committee recommended that no lead battery scarp should be imported as it falls under the hazardous waste and the material lying at the ports should be handed over to re-processor with environmentally acceptable technologies. The committee has also recommended that lead acid battery manufacturers such as Exide and Standard Furukawa should collect old and used batteries from the market. Further, the committee has also recommended to MoEF that it must ensure mass users of batteries like railways, transport corporations and defence agencies auction used batteries only to organised sector with proper pollution abatement technologies. 12. What is the legal position in India?

There are no national regulations for lead emission limits but for particulate matter in industrial emissions are prescribed under the Air Prevention and Control Act, 1981. Only the state of Maharastra has lead emissions specifically limited to a level of 50 gm/cu.m. However, there are standards for emission on water as effluent covered under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. For discharges to inland waters, the limit is 0.1 mg/l, whilst for discharge to public sewers and marine waters, a limit of 0.1mg/l is in operation. There is a notification by the MoEF on Eco-friendly lead acid batteries, for those manufacturers who wish to apply for the Eco-mark, which include meeting the standards of Bureau of Indian standards like,

Lead used in batteries in Batteries shall be recovered / manufactured through a process complying under the provisions of Water and Air Acts.

The manufacturer shall have a system of collecting scrap batteries from consumers for recovery and recycling of lead as per the compliance with various relevant laws. The facts remain that, the notification remains valid only for the Eco-mark, and has not been made compulsory, reflects a poor understanding of the large scale of unlicensed recycling and its economic

ramifications. It does not cover those not applying for the Eco-mark and can continue to create pollution and affecting human health and degrading the environment. Central Pollution Control Board issued a public notice on 18th September, 1997 stating that used batteries auctioned by various agencies should be given to reprocessing units with environmentally sound processing units, efficient pollution control system and valid authorization from the SPCB and pollution control committee in Union Territories. Even after this notice, Metal Scrap Trading Corporation, was conducting open auction of these lead acid batteries till November 98. The MSTC official claim that now they give away these batteries only to authorized smelters, who comply with all environmental norms to be followed by a lead smelter. But still lead acid batteries are smelted in backyard smelters without any compliance. Recently, a documentary prepared by Zee TV showed illegal smelting operations in the wee hours on outskirts of Delhi. 13. What i s the International scenario in recycling?

Lead is one of the most strictly regulated substances in industrialized countries. Because of leads wellknown ability to harm the development of young children, leaded petrol and paint are banned or severely restricted in most industrialized countries. Many lead battery-recycling plants in the US have closed over last 12 years and the secondary lead industry has shifted out en masse. According to the Journals of metals, by 1997 the inability to economically install emission controls over and purchase liability insurance forced the closure of over half lead smelters in north Americaxvii . The Exide Corporation has taken a proactive environment approach in some countries and believes in the philosophy of product stewardship and environment protection. And feels that in coming years, manufacturers are going to be required to provide for the safe disposal place for their product, especially if it contains hazardous material. In developed countries, the environmental and occupational health regulatory cost of lead battery recycling facilities is very high and is ever increasing. It is not profitable for many secondary lead smelters to operate under stringent regulations. In industrialized countries the collection of used batteries is generally well organized. Countries such as Sweden, Germany and Italy operated adjustable levy systems which are related to lead pricesxviii. A levy is imposed on new batteries and used to fund the collection and recycling of old batteries when the lead price is too low to make recycling economic. There is no levy system in United Kingdon for the collection of used batteries, which are generally collected by car repair shops and scrap metal dealers. In United States, many states require retailers to accept used cars batteries when consumers purchase new ones. According to battery Council International, several American states require a cash deposit on a purchase of new battery, which is refunded to the consumer after they return the used battery to the retailer. On May 1996, the US Congress passed the Battery Act to facilitate increased in collection and recycling of Ni-Cd and certain small sealed lead acid (SSLA) rechargeable batteries. This was done in view of increasing rechargeable battery use as well as potential environmental impacts resulting from their improper disposal. 14. What should be the solution to this problem?

A system to substitute the lead acid battery is not available. The phase out and the reduction of lead in the batteries are not possible because lead is the active electrochemical component. The legislation regarding collection and recycling of Lead Acid Batteries is in offing but there is need to have proper collection as well as smelting facilities to implement it. There is also a need to generate awareness among consumers for these batteries. There are following suggestion to collect and recycle these batteries in the most efficient manner.

Manufacturer / exporter should be responsible and should accept the return of these batteries and its recovery.

Retailers should accept the spent batteries from the customers.

There should be a system by which these spent batteries be collected and recycled at the proper smelting facilities.

There should be separate standard for the emission of lead in the atmosphere.

It should be made mandatory for the government sector to auction batteries through agency like MSTC, which should auction it to bidders only with proper smelting facilities.

Woodcock J.J. and Hamilton J.K. (ED), 1993, Australian Mining and Metallurgy. The Sir Maurice Mawby Meorial Volume; The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metalurgy, Austraia 3052, Volume 1, Monograph no 19 (pp-582)

Car Population, Battery Demand and the Availibility of Scrap Batteries in the Selected Developing Countries. A Paper presented in the workshop. Lead Pollution Control and Monitoring, New Delhi.

Subramanian, V.R. Imperatives of Recycling for Developing Economics Indian Zinc Information Centre, New Delhi. Speech delivered at the Bureau of International Recycling Forum in London, October 25, 1995.

Thandani, B.C. Prospects of Growth of Lead Industries in India; Challenges and Opportunities. Paper presented at Metal Bulletins 2nd Indian Metals Conference, New Delhi, March 31-April 2, 1996.

Murthy, K.S. Battery Society of India, India Lead Zinc Development Association, New Delhi. in an interview, 1999.

Subramanian V.R., Lead Production, Application and Trends. A kPaper presented in the workshop Lead Pollution Control and Monitoring, New Delhi, August 24-25, 1995

ibid note 1


Chandra. R. Patnaik, S.C. and Satyanarayan K.V., Lead Emission in Primary Lead Industry Its Control, Hindustan Lead Limited. Vizag, A Paper presented in the workshop Lead Pollution Control and Monitoring, New Delhi, August 24-25, 1995.

Roy Chowdhary, A.K. 1998. The Basel Experience. A Paper presented in the National Conference on Lead and Zinc Recycling Technology nd Environment, New Delhi. 17 & 18, 1998

Chaturvedi. B ibid Chauurvedi. B ibid

xi xii

Moitra. J.K. Philip. S. and Sengupta. B. Emission from Secondary Lead Smelters and their Inpact of the Environment: A Case Study, 1994.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 1996, Lead in Australian Children, A report on the National Survey of Lead in Children, Canberra.

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