Where to throw used dry batteries
A few days ago, a reader to the "people's livelihood through train" column sent an e-mail, asking how to deal with the home of used dry batteries, can be directly thrown into the trash can? Or should the battery be sent to the community for environmental protection purposes, the "recycling box"?
In this regard, Zhang Junxi, a professor at Shanghai University of Electric Power and deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Electric Power Corrosion Control and Applied Electrochemistry of Shanghai Universities, said that dry batteries produced and sold in China after 2006 have basically achieved "mercury-free" and no longer contain harmful to the human body and the environment. Heavy metals. But at the same time, he said that it is possible, but unreasonable, to treat waste mercury-free dry batteries as ordinary domestic waste ".
Dry batteries have achieved "mercury-free"
In the e-mail, the reader told the reporter that more than 100 dry batteries of different specifications had been saved at home, which had been scrapped because they had not been used for a long time. I want to throw the battery and other domestic garbage into the trash can, but I am worried that it will pollute the environment; I went out with the battery in my arms, only to find that the "battery recycling box" that had been placed in the community before was gone.
According to reports, in 2009, China's battery production was 40 billion, accounting for more than 50% of the world, of which about 8 billion button alkaline zinc-manganese batteries and more than 22 billion ordinary zinc-manganese batteries. Even if it is impacted by lithium batteries and the like in recent years, the usage of dry batteries represented by zinc-manganese batteries is still very large.
Previously, the public once paid great attention to the recycling and disposal of dry batteries, but at that time almost all discussions could not avoid "mercury", a toxic heavy metal, because based on the production process at that time, whether it was to slow down the corrosion of zinc sheets in the battery, prolong the battery life, or to prevent the deterioration of electrolyte carrier paste, a certain amount of mercury or mercuric chloride was added to the battery during production, and the recycled used dry batteries were needed, it is also classified as "toxic and hazardous waste" and is handled by professional departments.
After 2006, with the implementation of the national regulations on limiting the mercury content of battery products, the sale of alkaline zinc-manganese batteries with mercury content greater than 0.0001 percent of the battery weight has been completely banned in China, basically realizing the "mercury-free" production and sales of dry batteries ". Since the life of dry batteries is generally only 1 to 2 years, the dry batteries currently sold and mobile on the market are basically "0 mercury batteries".
According to the current regulations of relevant departments, because the dry battery has been "mercury-free", from the perspective of environmental science, the harm of toxic heavy metals in the battery has been eliminated. Therefore, it can be landfilled with other domestic waste without being separated. deal.
"Put rich ore, dig poor ore"
"Throw the battery into the trash can and dispose of it with other domestic garbage. It's okay, but it's not reasonable." Zhang Junxi said.
There are two main reasons for "unreasonable": First, although toxic heavy metals no longer exist, when used dry batteries and other domestic waste are landfilled, other metal elements in the battery, such as zinc, iron, manganese, etc. It will also enter the groundwater through leaching. Another more important reason is that waste dry batteries are not only a kind of solid waste, but also a valuable resource rich in a variety of metal elements. "There is no ore in nature whose metal element grade can be compared with that of used dry batteries. While we are burying used batteries, we are constantly digging up natural mineral deposits. Isn't this 'rich ore and digging up poor mineral'?" Zhang Junxi said.
"Why is it difficult to see discarded lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries at ordinary times? Because it is profitable to recycle these types of batteries, manufacturers and sellers are willing to do it. The relevant departments only need to strengthen supervision and constantly improve the recycling and processing links to prevent secondary pollution due to irregular operations." He said, "But dry batteries are different. If the technical level is not high, only zinc skin and manganese dioxide can be recovered from the battery, and the economic benefits are limited."
Fortunately, after a long period of research, domestic university laboratories have developed a variety of recycling methods, which is only one step away from entering the actual production link. For example, Zhang Junxi and his team have developed a technology that can convert used dry batteries into high-performance manganese zinc ferrite.
Call for a recycling system
In order to make good use of the "rich mine" of used batteries, Zhang Junxi called on the relevant state departments to change the current practice of mixing batteries into domestic waste and establish a complete management mechanism for the recycling of used batteries.
"The distribution of waste batteries is decentralized. To centralize the waste batteries in the hands of users to the production base, a complete battery recycling management mechanism must be established to guide consumers to send the batteries to designated locations instead of throwing them away to ensure 'Complete recycling '."
According to reports, some developed countries have issued special laws and regulations and established a recycling and treatment system for used batteries, which has certain reference significance for the establishment of similar systems in China in the future. For example, one of Japan's well-known enterprises engaged in waste battery recycling, Hokkaido's Nomura Xingchan Co., Ltd., can recycle 13000 tons of waste batteries from Japan every year by placing waste battery recycling bins in shopping malls, schools and residential areas. Dongfang Net-Wen Wei Po Reporter Ye Songting