Closed loop

03 July 2015

Recycling batteries is a key environmental win, says Manbat, as is ensuring batteries are not scrapped early.

The parent company of Manbat Industrial Power is Ecobat, the world’s largest lead processing company. Every gram of lead produced by Ecobat has had at least one previous life, making it one of the most sustainable products in the industrial world.

Ecobat is the only company in the world offering a closed recycling loop for lead-acid batteries, meaning that 99.7% of every spent battery processed by the company is recycled. The remaining 0.3% is used as fuel in the heating process.

The closed loop begins with the delivery of new batteries by Manbat who collect used batteries from site and transport them to one of 17 global lead processing facilities. Here, scrap batteries are stripped and sorted into component parts. Lead cores enter into the smelting process, where 80% of it is refined into primary, pure lead and the remainder into a range of lead alloys.

More than 80% of the refined product makes its way back into the production of batteries to power the world’s automotive and fork lift truck fleets. Significantly, Ecobat supplies high quality lead to many leading manufacturers of traction batteries worldwide.

The company has elected not to manufacture batteries - thereby allowing its distribution arm Manbat to remain independent when specifying the most appropriate power source.

Manbat’s marketing manager Myles Pemberton epxlains: "It’s rare that a battery and charger from the same manufacturer is the best combination. One of our key advantages is our ability to provide the best match for each application.”

In the field, Manbat is equally keen to be green by maximising the life of every traction battery.

"It’s been estimated that around 28% of fork truck batteries are scrapped before their working life is over. By identifying which batteries within a fleet are still performing satisfactorily and which could be given a new lease of life through the replacement of a faulty cell, Manbat is able to rescue batteries that would otherwise be consigned to the scrapheap.

"As an industry leader, we take our recycling responsibilities extremely seriously” emphasises Pemberton. "It’s one of our key differentiators in a highly competitive marketplace.”