We know that there are many forms of pollution and, one of the most dangerous, is that derived from heavy metals, which affect the environment causing very serious diseases to plants, animals and humans. In fact, one of the main sources of this type of pollution comes from used batteries that are not recycled and end up in nature, where, finally, they release their content and affect numerous quantities of living species. Because of this, it is especially important that batteries are recycled in a proper and controlled manner. If you want to know a little more about how batteries are recycled and about the effects that not doing so has on the environment, continue reading AgroCorrn and we’ll tell you about it.
- Why is it important to recycle batteries
- How batteries are recycled
- Battery recycling
Why is it important to recycle batteries
The batteries that we can find are of many types and varieties, but one of the aspects that they all have in common is that many of the materials that compose them are heavy metals, which are metals that are very toxic to life forms. of any type. Among some of the metals that we can find in the composition of batteries, the following stand out:
- The Mercury.
- The Lead.
All of them highly toxic to the health of living beings.
When a pile is abandoned in nature or in the urban environment, its casing will slowly deteriorate until, from the erosion of environmental phenomena, the interior content that includes these metals is released. These toxic metals will then spread into the environment through the water cycle, which will lead to subsequent contamination of both soils and rivers, aquifers and, finally, seas.
In these environments, these heavy metals will pass to plants and animals, causing them diseases and, in the case of agriculture, livestock and fishing, entering the human food chain . In fact, one of the reasons why the large sea fish that later end up on the table contain high amounts of mercury is this. It must be taken into account that the presence of these metals in living organisms causes very serious diseases , including neurodegenerative diseases, liver damage and diseases of the circulatory system or cancer, and, in the most serious cases, finally death.
Except in cases where the poisoning is very accelerated or due to a specific accident, the most common is that these diseases occur slowly as contaminated food is eaten over many years. However, it must be taken into account that living organisms are not designed to eliminate these metals from their interior, so the accumulation is carried out gradually but irreversibly. In this way, it is a very important environmental and public health problem , so it is essential that batteries do not end up degrading in uncontrolled natural or urban environments, but are recycled properly for the safety of all living beings.
How batteries are recycled
To recycle batteries, the first thing to do is take them to a container or clean point , which are the places where they are collected for later management and recycling. The clean points can be found both in large cities and in some smaller towns, while the containers can be found in very different places. In fact, in many urban centers, it is common to see them at bus stops, since they are small containers that can be attached to the bases of many urban furniture without having to dedicate a large space to them.
Once the batteries arrive at the recycling centers, there are different methodologies for their recycling . In general, it can be considered that all the processes that are carried out are intended to separate the metals and the rest of the components of the battery and isolate them from each other. In this way, once you have pure metals, they can be reused in the manufacture of new batteries .
The methods used to separate the metals will depend on the type of metal we are dealing with and the type of pile in question. Generally, both physical and chemical methods can be used. Some of the physical methods used consist of breaking them into small pieces in closed spaces and controlled atmospheres, which also makes it possible to recover the toxic gases that are released when they break. In the case of chemical methods, one of the most common consists of heating the contents of the pile once it has been chopped up in order, precisely, to release the heavy metals in the form of vapor and, later, to solidify it again to be able to reuse it. In this way, once all the original components have been separated, they can be safely reused in the manufacture of new batteries.
Batteries have the advantage that, compared to batteries, they can be recharged , just like rechargeable batteries. This makes its useful life longer , which prevents its recycling from having to be so repetitive. However, the materials that make up batteries, be it those of a vehicle or a mobile phone or any other type, are the same as those of batteries and, consequently, they must always be recycled in the same way. For this, they can be deposited both in the batteries and batteries containers and taken to the clean points , where they will be managed in the same way as the batteries for their subsequent recycling safely.
If you want to read more articles similar to How batteries are recycled , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .
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