Environment

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BATTERIES

Non rechargeable and rechargeable batteries generate voltage by chemical reaction. These reaction require a number of 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 vary between the battery types and may have negative impact on 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 used in batteries, e.g. lead, cadmium or mercury are health hazards, while the acids or alkalis in the electrolyte solutions are corrosive and aggressive.
A proper process for disposal of waste batteries is required to minimise the risk of releasing environmentally hazardous substances. This demands selective waste collection for safe neutralisation and recycling.

ALARMTEC: COST EFFECTIVE AND GREEN

State-of-the-art technologies, streamlined production lines, strict supplier quality control and the ISO 9001 Quality Management System applied by the manufacturer in the ALARMTEC battery production have a positive effect on the environment. The long-standing improvement and implementation of adequate solutions have resulted in the ISO 14001 certification of the manufacturing plant. The certificate guarantees that the company will continue to reduce its environmental impact. The corporate growth policy demands continuous improvement of the manufacturing processes and cost reduction. This is why the ALARMTEC batteries boast an excellent price to quality ration and parameter repeatability.

CURRENT LEGAL REALITY

Since April of 2009 the Polish Act on batteries has been in force which implements the Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Its main 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 implements new regulations and requirements for marketing batteries and similar power sources to optimise 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 efficient 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 regulations require battery marketing entities to suitably contract corporate entities which collect waste batteries or manage waste battery disposal facilities. The sellers 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. The businesses are also required 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 precisely define the terms of collection, processing and disposal of these waste types. The current 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.).
The regulations require that 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 sellers of lead-acid batteries (for automotive or industrial use) are required to collect a deposit fee for each sold battery unit not exchanged for a waste battery brought by the buyer. The deposit fee on industrial batteries is 35 PLN in Poland. The deposit fee is returned if the buyer releases a waste battery to the seller in 30 days. 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

  • Alarm Systems
  • Fire Protection Systems
  • Oświetlenie awaryjne