Environmentally friendly

Muldenhütten Recycling und Umweltschutz GmbH operates state-of-the-art plant for recycling lead-acid batteries and lead-containing waste

Summary: The use of secondary raw materials already has a long tradition in different sectors of industry. These include not least lead recycling, especially from spent batteries. In Germany, the recycling rate for lead-acid batteries is around 97 % of the batteries collected. German legislation stipulates that 65 wt. % of the components of a battery must be recycled into new materials. When the mining of lead ore ceased in the region in the late 1960s, the lead smelting works in Freiberg/Saxony was extended to enable the smelting of secondary raw materials. The development of this lead smelting works to one of the most modern and environmentally friendly recycling companies is outlined in the following.

1 Introduction

The global production of refined lead (commercial lead) totalled around 8.03 mill. t in 2006 and had therefore more than doubled compared to 1970 [1]. With 330 000 t (2006), Germany is the third largest producer of commercial lead. Around 60-70 % of the lead produced worldwide is used for the production of vehicle batteries. The reserves of lead ores are specified at 170 mill. t, of which, however, only 79 mill. t can be cost efficiently utilized from today’s point of view. The most important source for the production of lead today is lead and lead-containing waste, which is...

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