GRN Recycle Talk FAQ

Date: Tue Jan 13 1998 - 04:09:00 EST

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 98 09:09 WET
Subject: Re: Dry Cell Battery Sorting   Recycling (Frank Reed)

January 13, 1998

Dear Frank Reed,

The principal sorting systems for batteries that are in use are manual sorting systems, augmented with some trommel sorting and with some magnetic sorts.
There are other systems that have been minimally applied to batteries including spectroscopy, barcode automation scanning and weight shifting. I know some firms that have been involved in these sorting technologies for plastics, but not for batteries including:

National Recovery Technologies, Inc.
Automation Industrial Control Buhler AG
Laser Labor Massen Machine Vision Systems
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, which is a US DOE facility, not a firm.
The Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, University of WA (which in 1993 worked with Sandia)
Machinex Industries, Inc., Plessisville, Quebec

As of 7 years ago, there were many automated processes for materials separation of lead acid batteries. With new markets available it would not surprise me if some of these had adapted their technologies to dry cells as well. That might be another lead stream.

Pyrolysis is also being used to separate out the mercury from alkaline batteries.

I would ask more specific information of the companies heavily involved in either mercury recycling or battery recycling:

Portable Rechargeable Battery Assn, Atlanta
Recovery and Reclamation, Inc., Pecos, TX
Mercury Refining Co., Albany or Latham, NY
Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Eihme University, Japan have developed a full processing approach involving an oxidizing roast which at varies temperatures removes mercury, zinco, and other metals, but this may exacerbate the problems rather than provide a useful recycling method.
  However, since this info comes to me from a 1990 study (the era that battery sortation was beginning), it may ahve been transcended by now.

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