Lead acid battery recycling and material flow analysis of lead in Korea
Korean automobile industry was the fifth largest in the world in 2014, and there was a steady demand for batteries that are essential for automobile production. The battery used in automobile production is a lead acid battery, and since 2010, Korea has been conducting material flow analysis for major industrial-related materials such as lead. Lead material flow had focused on the production of raw and base materials and the battery production, which is one of the intermediate products. Many of these products were exported. Most of the primary leads used in the production of the basic materials were smelted with imported lead ores. Compared to the production capacity of secondary lead companies in Korea, a number of used batteries collected in Korea were insufficient, and the shortages were dependent on imports. 94.7% of the base materials were used for battery production through first processed products as metal, and 5.3% was used as an oxide. In addition, lead is a globally important environmental regulatory substance, and Korea has also managed the recycling of lead acid batteries. 98.2% of the leads collected through recycling process were reintroduced into the base material as the secondary lead.
KeywordsLead Lead acid battery Material flow analysis Lead recycling
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