Electric Car Battery Installation & Recycling, Disposal Process


Car battery recycling is one of the most interesting recycling processes because it can recover significant amounts of lead and plastic.

If batteries are correctly treated, these materials can represent a very interesting opportunity for investors in the recycling market.

Generally, the customer is responsible for recycling car batteries, and the first phase of the process allows lead to be recovered as metal.

Electric Car Battery Installation & Recycling Basic

Typically, an electric car battery weighs about three hundred kilograms, but it can weigh as much as twice as much on some models of electric cars. In the active part of the cell, most of the materials are metals, with some plastics, solvents, and electronics making up the rest of the material.

As a consequence, some of these metals have become scarce in the past few years: copper, cobalt, nickel, manganese, aluminum, lithium, etc. It is possible for any of these substances to pose a threat to the environment and human health.

Importance of Electric Car Battery

In that case, reusing them in other applications before the end of their full operational life, and recycling them, can generate additional value.

According to the above information, the batteries used in electric vehicles are typically lithium-ion-based. An electrolyte, an anode, an electrolyte separator, a cathode, and an anode are all components of a single cell. Ultimately, hundreds or thousands of individual cells are assembled into a battery pack by grouping them. After that, you glue them together in series or parallel and combine all these modules. By doing that, you can form a battery pack that consists of hundreds or thousands of individual cells.

As of now, it is generally believed that the battery packs that are currently available in EVs can last at least ten years. Over time, as the batteries are charged and discharged, the capacity of the batteries starts to deteriorate. The good news is that they can be repurposed for other purposes if they eventually become unsuitable for propelling a vehicle. Specifically, the electric vehicle batteries would still have approximately 70 percent of their capacity.

Car Battery Installation

It is a very simple and straightforward task to install a brand new car battery in your car. In spite of this, it is important to keep in mind that batteries can weigh as much as forty pounds and are a very heavy item. It is not unusual for batteries to weigh between twenty and thirty pounds on average. In order to install your new battery, you will have to first disconnect and remove the old one from the vehicle before you start the installation process.

Safety First

Whenever you are changing the battery, place your vehicle on a flat surface, away from any traffic, and keep it away from any flammable materials nearby while the job is done. It is crucial that the four-wheeler engine has to turn off with the handbrake activated.

Most car batteries contain acid inside. It is also a fact that most of them are located near the engine, where other liquids flow around. We strongly recommend that you wear safety glasses, gloves, and clothing to ensure you do not come into contact with any hazardous material while working. If you are attempting to work near the engine, it is also recommended that you remove any metal jewelry.

Lose the Battery Bracket

Once the engine has been turned off, open the hood and look for the battery under there. Taking care of any rusty nuts, bolts and screws has to be the next step, in addition to raising the bracket that holds the car battery in place, and removing it. The use of a screwdriver as a pry bar should be avoided as this could cause damage to your battery terminal or even break it off completely.

Old Battery Removal

The first thing you need to do is to remove the cable from the Neutral terminal of the battery. It is usually indicated by the black lead of the cable, while the red lead of the cable corresponds to the live terminal. 

If you look at the battery, you will notice that there are positive and negative signs. 

The black cable is the negative that is connected to the neutral, while the red cable is the positive that is connected to the neutral. 

Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the clamping nut on one end of the connector. Place the connector somewhere safe within the vicinity of the battery after lifting it away from the battery. Remove the positive terminal cable from the battery by undoing the clamping nut on the red terminal cable. You can place somewhere safe as well for the recycling process of the battery.

Cable Disconnection Process

Prior to removing the battery from the car, it is necessary to separate the two terminals from the cables that are attached to them, that also need to be moved aside in order to remove the battery from the car. In order to remove the black cable or negative cable, you will need to loosen the bolt with an adjustable wrench and then follow the same procedure to remove the red cable or positive cable.

Lifting the old battery

The battery shelf of some batteries will have an extra metal clamp that can be used to secure the battery. Usually, the battery is held off by a nut or screw that is usually installed in the frame to prevent the battery from moving during the movement of the vehicle. If the metal clamp is held tight by a nut or screw, you should undo it and lever it off. It is now time to release the battery from the device. Be very careful when removing the battery from the device. It is important to remember that they are heavy and cars are not always designed with the capability of leaning inside to grab them.

Tray Cleaning

In order to remove any rust or other chemicals from the battery tray, you can clean it using a baking soda water mixture, and then wipe it off with a dry cloth once it has been cleaned. Baking soda is a good way to remove any rust that may be present.

Before you proceed any further, it is recommended that you clean the terminal cables with steel wool or a shine pad to remove any excess engine grease, dirt, or oily dust that may have collected on the cable terminals over time. In order to obtain a good conductive contact between the new battery and the metal, you must scrub it thoroughly so that it is totally clean.

New Battery Installation

The battery should be visually inspected before being placed inside the engine compartment to make sure it is in good condition.

There should be a plastic cover on the top of the device where you can pop off the two terminal connectors. It is for the protection of the terminal heads that these are there. You will need a screwdriver to remove the plastic covers from the terminal heads, but make sure not to scar or scrape them when you do so. If there are any other unnecessary coverings, remove them as well.

Lifting the New Battery

Keeping the new battery in mind, lift it and secure it inside the engine compartment and on the battery shelf. Secure the battery by replacing the metal clamp that holds it in place. You must place the metal holding loop over the head of the positive terminal cable, also known as the red cable. You make sure you position it correctly; so the top of the head is flush with or a little lower than the edge of the loops. With the adjustable wrench, you can tighten the bolt to the desired tightness. Ensure that you tighten it securely and that it does not move as you tighten it.

Black Cable Replacement

After you have disconnected the black cable from the new battery, you can now connect it to the new battery. With the adjustable wrench, tighten the metal loop as you did with the red cable, by placing it over the negative terminal and tightening it down as you did with the positive terminal. The connection should be kept clean by using a little bit of mechanic’s grease on each terminal head.

Test Drive for Battery Checking

Having installed your new car battery, you can now comfortably start your car, as it is now safe to do so. Some on-board computers may be in need of calibration using a professional method since they have been dimmed for some reason.

Define Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

There is a concept known as battery recycling. Battery recycling is the process of reusing and reprocessing batteries to reduce the number of batteries that are thrown away as material waste.

Due to the presence of several poisonous chemicals and heavy metals in batteries, dumping these batteries has raised a great deal of concern about their impact on the environment. Due to the environmental and health benefits of recycling batteries, it is need to be recycled.

Purpose of Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

The batteries cannot be used for an indefinite period because they eventually get spoiled or become unusable. There is a place for battery recycling in this scenario, and that is where it comes into play.

As part of battery recycling, waste batteries need to be processed. There is an emphasis on reusing these products regularly rather than disposing of them after use. The purpose of this is to reduce the number of batteries that are disposed of improperly.

Several poisonous substances and metals are contained in batteries, so you should be aware of them. Several risks are associated with disposing of batteries regularly, such as their components polluting water and soil.

The best thing you could do for the environment is to protect it from these harmful effects. Recycling batteries can reduce the need to produce new batteries, thereby reducing material waste in the world.

Future of Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

As a result of what is being called the EV revolution, industry analysts predict that there will be over 140 million electric vehicles on all roads around the globe in ten years time.

The growing demand for EV lithium-ion batteries has been crucial to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes and minimizing the impact of climate change, however, it still remains a challenge to produce a circular economy for the industry by recycling its batteries at such a scale after use.

Define Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

There is a concept known as battery recycling. Battery recycling is the process of reusing and reprocessing batteries with the aim of reducing the amount of batteries that are thrown away as material waste.

Due to the presence of several poisonous chemicals and heavy metals in batteries, the dumping of these batteries has raised a great deal of concern about their impact on the environment. In order to comply with the environmental and health benefits of recycling batteries, batteries must be disposed of properly.

Components of Electric Vehicle Battery

Depending on the components of a battery, its performance varies. There are several components found in these batteries, including lead, lithium-ion, nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, lithium-ion polymer, nickel zinc, and alkaline. A variety of batteries are made from these components by different manufacturers. Thus, each of these batteries may operate differently, consume different power, and recycle differently.

Therefore, you can recycle the vast majority of it, it is processed differently. Some batteries can be recycled more easily than others; it is even more convenient for you. 

That depends on the value of their components and the toxic levels of the chemicals used to make them.

Batteries are recyclable by now, as you probably already know. The importance of recycling batteries cannot be overstated. It is important to understand that there are different types of batteries before you begin recycling them.

Reason behind Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

It is important to note that most of the important materials in electric cars such as a Tesla Model Y are made up of lithium-ion batteries, which are very similar to the batteries that are in your phone, tablet, or computer, but are much larger in size.

This is a system in which multiple modules are built into a cell; a cathode sheet is contained within a graphite anode, which is then assembled into a cell. Among the primary targets of recycling companies is the cathode sheet because it is predominantly made from valuable materials such as cobalt and nickel, and as such is very valuable to recyclers.

There are two ways through which these materials can be recycled: through Pyrometallurgy and through hydrometallurgy.

  • Pyrometallurgy involves shredding and burning the battery’s cells and other components. Unlike hydrometallurgy dissolves the battery’s cells and other parts in acid.
  • These two processes produce a great deal of waste and emit a great deal of greenhouse gases, making them unsustainable in the long run because of the waste and greenhouse gases they emit.

Due to the rapid growth in the EV market, new technologies will be required to address the growing battery supply issue. New EV batteries could be made with a direct recycling process that preserves the cathode metal mixture and reduces processing and energy expenditures.

Step by Step Process of Car Battery Recycling

Collection

Lead batteries are collected from disposal sites as part of this process. This stage involves the collection of batteries by a recycling company.

Crushing

Breaking apart lead batteries is the next step in recycling lead batteries. Batteries are crushed into fragments at the recycling facility using hammer mills.

Broken Plastic

Recyclable batteries are broken down into three parts: plastic, lead, and electrolytes. Throughout the manufacturing process, the plastic casing and cover of your battery is crushed and converted into plastic pellets. As a result, fewer plastic cases and covers are manufactured, which reduces the need for new plastic production. Plastics could take hundreds of years to decompose if they are left unprocessed.

Sorting

In this process, lead acid batteries are separated into their individual parts. Lead and metal components of a battery are separated from plastic and paper components by recyclers. Lead and heavy metals are further processed after the battery is constructed.

Sieving

Recycling companies remove thermoplastics from batteries during this process. A sieve can remove the liquid from the battery and leave the dry lead components behind. In the final step of recycling, lead and heavy metals are separated from each other.

Plastic materials that are removed from the battery are washed. Afterward, the thermoplastic is sent to plastic recyclers for reprocessing. Casings for new batteries can be made from thermoplastics. These thermoplastics are also used by plastic manufacturers to make new plastic products.

Extraction Method

From the battery remains, lead and heavy metal components are extracted as the final step in lead acid battery recycling.

The process of performing this step requires two steps. Metal can be recovered from materials containing metal using liquid solutions. In contrast, the second process involves removing and refining metals using high temperatures.

In addition to these two processes, lead and heavy metal undergo four more processes in the battery. In this process, the metal is roasted, smelted, and refined. 

Molten Lead

Lead is molten at the end of the process. To make new batteries, recycling companies mold molten lead and deliver it to manufacturers. During the melting process, lead ingots are made from the grid, terminals, and posts of your battery. New battery grids are formed using these materials, and retained lead oxide can be used in future batteries.

Neutralize the Battery Acid

Battery electrolytes are the most critical recycled part of a battery. Sulfuric acid is used as the electrolyte conductor in lead-acid batteries. When handled improperly, sulfuric acid can release toxic fumes and burn through iron.

There are two ways to neutralize old battery acid. The first step is to neutralize the acidic electrolyte compound that transforms it into water with a base. Prior to entering sewer systems, the water is treated, clarified, and tested. 

In the second method, recycling is done in a more modern way. A substance used in laundry detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing is sodium sulfate, which is produced from sulfuric acid. This process transforms acid into something useful instead of simply neutralizing it.

Why you do not send batteries in Trash?

Lead and battery acid, which are highly corrosive, are contained in car batteries and can do extensive damage to the environment, animals, and humans. Global warming can be exacerbated by these chemicals when they are released into the environment. Additionally, if batteries are stored or disposed of incorrectly, then they can explode and cause fires due to excessive heat.

Car Battery Disposal Process

Go to Recycle Center

Having already removed used batteries from your home, you need to search for recycling centers in your area.  You can find a direct recycling center near your zip code by entering your car batteries and zip code.

Talk to Municipal Waste Center

Household waste containing toxic materials is handled by many municipal waste centers. Find out if such a center accepts car batteries if you have one nearby.

Make use of Auto Parts Store

People do not realize this, but there is something they need to know. In most cases, auto parts stores will accept old batteries for free or even offer a store credit when you purchase new batteries. Changing your car battery yourself is the easiest way to do it.

Sell to Scrap Dealer

The scrap metal industry often looks to car batteries as a raw material source, unlike other types of rechargeable batteries. In the battery manufacturing industry, metal dealers usually sell cathode metals extracted from spent batteries. A local mechanic can replace batteries and handle the old battery components for you if you aren’t the DIY type when it comes to fixing a car. Mechanics will know various recycling methods because they are working in the manufacturer’s company.

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