Environment

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BATTERIES

Non rechargeable and rechargeable batteries generate voltage by chemical reaction. Depending on the battery type, the reagents are based on various elements, also those harmful or hazardous to humans and the environment.
The manufacturing process of batteries features a number of chemicals intended for the safety and functional performance. These substances may be harmful to the environment. The substances most often used include, among others, manganese dioxide, iron, zinc, graphite, ammonium chloride, copper, potassium hydroxide, mercury, nickel, lithium, cadmium, silver, cobalt, glass, silica, paper, plastic sheet and free hydrogen. The heavy metals integrated in batteries (e.g. lead, cadmium or mercury) are health hazards, while the acids or alkalis in the electrolyte solutions are corrosive and aggressive.
Improper disposal of waste batteries results in the risk of releasing environmentally hazardous substances.
This implies a demand for selective waste collection for safe neutralisation and recycling.

EUROPOWER®: THE GREEN PRODUCT

We focus on compliance with the most stringent environmental protection standards in our battery manufacturing process. The many years of manufacturing improvement and ongoing deployment of new solutions minimise the harmful environmental impact of our business already at the manufacturing stage. The state-of-the-art technologies and corporate procedures, which have been certified for ISO 14001 compliance, have positioned us as one of the greenest businesses in our industry.
The manufacturing process of EUROPOWER® batteries is environmentally sustainable. The 24 quality control points along the production process flow assure the longest true life among all commercially available batteries. There are EUROPOWER® batteries still in service after 8 years from installation, although their design operating life is only 5 years. The extremely high and stable quality has been tried and tested in thousands of domestic and foreign deployments.
The long operating life of batteries minimises the amount of waste and environmental impact.

CURRENT LEGAL REALITY

In April of 2009, a Polish Act on batteries was passed to implement the Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Its primary objective is to minimise the harmful environmental impact of batteries and waste thereof with the intent of environmental protection and long-term betterment. The Act formulates new regulations and requirements for marketing batteries and similar power sources to streamline the related market operations domestically and in trade between the EU member states.
The Act introduces a number of legal regulations concerning proper handling of waste batteries. The current regulations of law impose strict requirements for the collection and recycling of waste batteries, as well as for effective pro-environmental activities by manufacturers who market batteries and battery distributors, end users, and especially all corporate entities directly involved in processing and recycling of battery wastes. The new Act requires a greater liability of the battery marketing entities by forcing them to suitably contract corporate entities which collect waste batteries or manage waste battery disposal facilities. The battery marketing entities must also organise a separate waste collection system, since batteries are small-sized waste on a high level of dispersion. Every end user is required to hand over waste batteries to a waste battery collector without any extra cost. A new requirement for businesses is to reach the regulatory collection levels set for waste batteries, including portable units. The waste battery processing facilities which recycle the processing waste are required to reach regulatory-defined performance levels of their processes.
The Act regulations apply to all battery types manufactured and marketed, irrespective of their size, capacity, weight, composition, manufacturing process, or application; this also concerns all batteries integrated in devices or added to other products. The regulations also apply to all waste generated from batteries, and strictly define the terms of collection, processing and disposal of these waste types. The effective legal regulations do not apply to the batteries applied in the equipment designed for the protection of essential security interests of the EU member states, weapons, ammunition or defence articles – with the exception of products not specifically designed for military use – or space-borne equipment.
The Act categorises batteries in two groups: portable batteries and industrial batteries. According to the regulatory definition, all batteries applied in emergency or backup power supply systems are industrial batteries. The industrial battery group includes batteries intended for service with renewable energy powered devices (e.g. photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, etc.) and electrical vehicles (electric cars, wheelchairs, cleaning machines, etc.).
According to current regulations, all batteries must be marked with the selective collection pictogram (see fig. below), whereas lead-acid batteries and cells (as well as all other battery devices with over 0.004% of lead by weight) must also feature the chemical symbol of the element, Pb:

pb

Pb

The legislator has adopted a financial instrument of deposit fee, chargeable when a lead-acid battery (for automotive or industrial use) is sold by a retailer and the buyer does not return a waste battery. The deposit fee on industrial batteries is 35 PLN in Poland. If the buyer charged with the deposit fee returns a waste battery to the seller in 30 days from purchase, the latter must return the collected deposit fee. Non-returned deposit fees collected during the calendar year are remitted by the retailer to the bank account of the Marshall Office of jurisdiction. The legislator’s intent behind the implemented regulatory procedures is to help the waste battery collection system protect the natural environment from the extreme hazard of improper battery disposal.

Applications

  • Server rooms
  • GSM base stations
  • RES (Renewable Energy Source) systems
  • Emergency power supply
  • Defence industry

Accessories