SHANGHAI, Dec. 21 (SMM) - That there are 3.5 million scrap lead-acid batteries in China per year, and proportion of scrap lead-acid battery disposal between qualified and unqualified producers is 3:2 in 2016. This means that a large amount of scrap batteries flow to unqualified disposers per year. Secondary lead industry shoulders heavy responsibilities of environmental protection.
China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology introduced new Regulations for Secondary Lead Industry on December 13. The new regulations are designed to guide development of Chinese secondary lead industry, promote industrial structural adjustment and industrial upgrading, to increase resource utilization, to reduce environmental pollution from secondary lead production process and to realize sustainable and healthy development in the industry.
SMM sums up the new regulations as followings.
Secondary lead project’s construction cannot go beyond 1-km “red line”.
The new regulations not only limit new construction, reconstruction and expansion of secondary lead projects, but also require existing secondary lead smelters to remove to industrial park. Secondary lead factory and storage facilities for hazardous wastes should be no less than 1 km away from residential areas and sensitive areas, and this should be based on environmental influence assessment. And those smelters, which also produce lead-acid battery, should comply with relative national standards.
The new regulations also make requirements on scale, quality, technology, equipment and recovery rate of secondary lead projects.
Scale: scrap lead-acid battery pretreatment project should be above 100,000/mt per year and pretreatment-smelting secondary lead project should be above 60,000/mt per year.
Quality: Secondary lead smelters should build a complete management system for products quality, and secondary lead and lead alloy products should reach national standards.
Technology: The new regulations require secondary lead smelters to buy intact acid-containing batteries and batteries with damage rate below 5%. Secondary lead smelters should strictly comply with Pollution Control Standard for Hazardous Wastes Storage (GB 18597-2001) and employ automatic battery crushing and sorting facilities and technology to dispose scrap lead-acid batteries.
Equipment: Secondary lead smelters should use advanced technology and facilities with high production efficiency and low energy consumption. The new regulations also encourage smelters to adopt clearer production technology rather than inefficient technology and facilities banned by the government.
Energy consumption at pretreatment-smelting projects should be lower than 125 kg of standard coal per mt of lead in smelting process and should be lower than 22 kg of standard coal per mt of lead in refining process. Recovery rate of lead should be above 98%, and lead content should be below 2% in smelting waste residues. Energy consumption of scrap lead-acid battery pretreatment should be lower than 5 kg of standard coal per mt of scrap battery.
The new regulations also make specific requirements on environmental protection.
First, secondary lead project should reach requirements of Environmental Impact Assessment and Ordinance on Administration for Environmental Protection of Construction Projects.
Second, secondary lead smelter should reach the cleaner production level as required in Evaluation Index of Cleaner Production in Secondary Lead Industry.
Third, secondary lead smelter should apply for a license for hazardous wastes while meeting requirements in Technology Criterion for Disposal of Scrap Lead-Acid Battery (HJ 519-2009). Plastics, after battery crushing and sorting process, can be recycled after cleaning, which should also reach Pollution Control Technology Criterion for Waste Plastics Recycling (Trial) (HJ/T364-2007).
Fourth, secondary lead smelter should fill in transfer forms of hazardous wastes and make records on business of hazardous wastes.
Fifth, pollutant emission at secondary lead smelter should meet Emission Standards for Pollutants from Secondary Copper, Aluminum, Lead and Zinc (GB31574-2015).
Sixth, secondary lead smelter should dispose hazardous wastes, according to Administrative Measures for Hazardous Wastes Subject and Pollution Prevention Technique for Hazardous Wastes..
Seventh, secondary lead smelter should have competent management system of environmental protection, draw up a complete management system of environmental protection and emergency response plan for heavy metals’ pollution, with supporting emergency response facilities and equipments. The smelter should hold regular emergency response trainings and drills for environmental pollution, and investigate potential dangers for pollution.
Eighth, secondary lead smelter are not allowed to produce secondary lead until getting the permit for discharging pollutants, which should also reach national standards.
Ninth, secondary lead smelter, which is not fined for violating environmental protection laws and no contamination accidents within two years before the application, will be allowed to apply for qualified enterprise.
Tenth, secondary lead smelter, which has on the illegal record on Environmental Administrative Discipline Management Information System, Detail Unqualified Enterprises during Environmental Protection Inspections and Pollution Sources Monitoring System for Enterprise with National Intensive Supervision, will be not allowed for application until after rectifying faults and submitting relevant rectification materials.