While lead-acid batteries are heavily recycled, with sometimes more than 97% recyclable material, there are significant health hazards associated with the materials.
Lead is a known carcinogen with well documented health effects and acid products can react in the air to produce corrosive gasses.
Throughout the process of dismantling the batteries, separating and smelting the lead, microscopic lead particles can be released. The effects of lead particles in the air is a physiological threat and therefore stringently regulated by appropriate national and regional laws and agencies.
Air filtration systems are required to mitigate airborne lead hazards. However, widely available filter media with PTFE membrane are not enough to capture the amount of lead required to meet regulations. Also, it is standard practice to include an inline HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter in the outlet duct from a typical dust collector.
One disadvantage to this approach is the regular replacement cycles required for HEPA filer media, requiring the entire filtration system be shut down for the exchange operation. Without the filtration system, the recycling production has to be halted. Shutdowns like this certainly cost the business in hours lost to production.
MikroPul has developed a solution to this problem
Instead of placing a single bank of HEPA filters in the outlet ductwork, MikroPul has developed a design that splits the HEPA filters into four (4) equal banks that are attached to the four separate baghouse filter modules. Since the baghouse is sized to be run with only 3 modules online, one of them can be isolated and maintenance performed while the rest continue to operate. This results in very little down-time for the recycling operations.
In addition to the unique design, the MikroPul MikroPulsaire pulse-jet baghouse also provides other significant and proven time-saving technologies. For example, the control system is capable of determining the exact row that a broken filter bag is in. This allows for shorter down-time when replacing broken bags.
MikroPul can report several reference sites in Rotary Furnaces applications as well as many other similar filtration systems with modularized HEPA filters. These systems are providing consistent profitability gains through lower down-time.
In addition, MikroPul wet scrubbers and cartridge filters provide confidence for other battery recycling process steps.
There are significant opportunities to improve operating efficiency through upgrade and retrofit of these types of solution.