Scrap lead batteries recycled to new raw material
Boliden Bergsöe recycles lead scrap, including four million waste lead-acid car batteries, from the Nordic region each year. Around 60 percent of the produced lead is sold to the battery industry in Europe.
"Our lead smelter Bergsöe helps to recycle a finite resource that is crucial to modern society, but which can be highly toxic if not correctly managed during smelting and recycling. At Bergsöe, we constantly refine our state-of-the-art systems to further minimise air emissions and water discharge," says Peter Carlsson, General Manager at Boliden Bergsöe.
Minimising environmental impacts
Bergsöe strives to minimise the environmental impact of its water discharges and air emissions, and the facility far exceeds several national and EU regulations. Total lead discharge to water in 2014, for example, was over 15 times lower than allowed by Bergsöe's environmental permit. The facility also already complies with the EU Industrial Emissions Directive rules of the Best Available Techniques in the Non-Ferrous Metals industry that will be mandatory from 2019.
Comprehensive state-of-the-art systems treat wastewater containing sulphuric acid and clean process air, including lead-bearing exhaust ventilation and filter dust, which are captured and re-used in production. Ash from the melting pots and casting machines and lead-bearing slag is also reprocessed on site.
District heating from scrap batteries
Recycled batteries contain plastic that serves as a reducing agent in lead production. The smelting process also generates excess heat. Some of this excess heat is used for district heating, equivalent to the annual heating requirements of 2000 homes, with the heat being supplied to the municipal district heating system in Landskrona.