Innovation continues at Boliden’s Bergsöe plant
As one of Europe’s largest recyclers of automotive lead batteries in Europe, our lead smelter at Boliden Bergsöe has been upgraded to recycle another material high on the recycling agenda across Europe and indeed globally: plastic.
Our industry is familiar with the gold standard for circular economy goals that is lead: lead can be infinitely recycled without loss of performance, and lead batteries are 99% collected and recycled at end-of-life in Europe.
Each year, Boliden Bergsöe recycles the lead from 4 million lead batteries, which is then repurposed for European battery manufacturers to produce industrial and automotive batteries.
This recycling success story has just been expanded to include plastic battery casings. Our plastic separation plant will recover the plastic from car battery casings and convert it into plastic chips to be re-used to manufacture new car battery casings.
Boliden’s innovative journey continues with a new plastic separation plant
Automotive batteries contain about 10% plastic, over half of which is polypropylene (PP) and can be easily recycled, a valuable product to sell to battery manufacturers to use as new casings.
This ambitious recycling objective ties in with Boliden’s aims to promote safety, reduce environmental impact and generate value from waste. Beginning in autumn 2019, the investment in a new plastic separation plant is directly related to safer production for our employees. Having less plastic in the charge will reduce risk of flashovers and fire in the process gas system.
An added benefit of recycling more components of the battery is that we reduce our CO2 emissions by approximately 25%.
Boliden’s innovation story doesn’t only revolve around lead batteries however – last year we spoke to ILA about Boliden’s Tilapia fish farms where warm water tanks are heated as a by-product of our lead production activities.
As Europe continues transitioning to a future where clean energy and circular economy become increasingly more important, Boliden is confident that our innovative advancements will contribute to a low carbon future.