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MoEFCC releases SOP for lead-acid battery recycling

Tuesday, 30 Jan 2024
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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the recycling of lead scrap and used lead-acid batteries. The SOP aims to regulate the import, transport, and recycling of lead-bearing waste while minimising environmental and health risks.

Both rotary and mandir bhatti furnaces are permissible under SOP but with stringent pollution control measures, including suction hoods connected to air pollution control systems and components such as expansion chambers. The SOP defines the battery-breaking processes clearly, emphasising safe methods such as manual cutting or mechanical braking after draining acid. The facilities should have separate covered storage with acid-proof flooring, acid collection tanks, and stringent pollution control for waste management. 

According to the SOP, the prescribed standards include limits for lead concentrations in the work area air (0.05 milligram per cubic mtrs.), emissions through the stack (10.0 milligram per normal cubic mtrs.), effluents (0.10 milligram per litre), and ambient air near the factory boundary (1.0 microgram per cubic mtrs.). The SOP also underscores the accountability of the occupier in instances of environmental damages resulting from the improper handling of battery wastes.

As per the SOP, import of the used lead batteries should be done in pallets, and these should be leak-proof and labelled as acid-containing material. Imported used lead-acid batteries should also have the caps of cells properly tightened in place during transportation. The authorisation for import will be granted for five years.

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