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Lead Battery Scrap

Lead is used for manufacturing batteries and after competition of its life; this gets converted in lead acid battery scrap. There is a limited scope for import of lead battery scrap due to Basel Convention for trans-boundary movement of Hazardous Scrap. Now in days the limited availability of lead concentrate is a major reduce factor both for capacity expansion in existing smelters and for establishing new primary smelters.

There are few rules to be followed In order to regularize the collection of lead acid batteries and channelise spent lead accumulators for recycling facilities by adopting environmentally sound processing technologies.

Most important features of Lead Batteries scrap legislation

  • Consumers are suppose to return used batteries to manufacturers / assemblers / recondition / importers and these people are suppose to collect lead battery scrap and transport it to registered recyclers.
  • Auction of used batteries should be done with registered recyclers.
  • Dealers should be responsible for collection.
  • Batteries should be categorized.


A scheme for registration of re-processors of lead battery scrap has been operationalised. Former to grant of registration, inspection of facility is a must and in at least 10% of the cases, a second inspection is also undertaken. In addition to acquiescence with the regulatory standards, reprocessing units are required to follow the prescribed code of practice for environmentally sound management (ESM) of lead acid batteries and possess proper facilities for disposal of wastes, the sludge, in particular. The air pollution control system stipulated in the ESM code would ensure that stack emissions would not exceed 10mg/Nm3 for Lead Metal and 50mg/Nm3 for total particulate matter (TPM).

International Lead battery scrap prices are much lower than domestic prices, while planning for new secondary smelting capacity, competition from imports of lead metal is carefully considered. However, given the enormous price differential between domestic scrap price and international scrap price and further considering that secondary lead production accounts for nearly 70% of total lead production globally, the price distortion and consequent implications for competitiveness of lead based products, batteries in particular, are very clear…!!


Lead Battery Plates (RAILS)

Specify whether automotive, industrial or mixed. Also whether they are groups or loose. The only other metallic that might be included could be lead connectors. To be free of non-metallics, i.e., plastic or rubber, with the exception that separators may be included. Material to be dry; may be bought on an assay basis or a flat price; submarine plates subject to negotiation.


Wet Whole Intact Lead Batteries (RINK)

Consisting of SLI automotive, truck, 8- D and commercial golf cart and marine-type batteries. Cases to be either plastic or rubber and to be complete. Non-lead (i.e., ni-cad, ni-fe, carbonaire, etc.) not acceptable. Other types i.e. aircraft (aluminum) gel-cel, lawnmower, etc., and partial, cracked or broken batteries or batteries without caps and the amount of liquid content and any variations to the specification subject to special agreement.



General trade practice to export - import RINK is not to drain out free liquid from the batteries, prior to transportation/ shipping. There must be about 10% (or above) of liquid by weight and all the batteries must be totally capped. If partial draining of liquid is done than such lot of Lead Battery Scrap does not fall in RINK category. Battery scrap should be free from from the sand/ soil/ dust and any other spurious material or as specified by the buyer.



Drained/Dry Whole Intact Lead Batteries (RAINS)

To be free of any liquid Cases to be either plastic or rubber and be complete including caps. Non-lead (nicad, ni-fe, carbonaire, etc.) not acceptable. Industrial, steel cased, aircraft (aluminum cased) and partial, cracked or broken batteries and batteries without caps subject to special agreement. Review packaging specifications and regulatory status pertaining to shipping with buyer prior to sale.



General trade practice to export-import RAINS is to drain out the free liquid from the batteries prior to stuffing of the containers/ transportation. In case of dry whole intact batteries, as there is absorbed gel in place of free liquid, draining out is not necessary.

The main purpose of this is to avoid the spillage of acid during transportation and handling. However during long period of transportation/ sea journey, some of the entrapped liquid may precipitate which in no case should be more than 5% of weight of battery. For the purpose of acceptance / rejection, the full consignment/ container load shall be considered , not individual pieces. Battery should also be free from the sand/ soil/ dust and any other spurious material or as specified by the buyer.