Johnson Controls breaks ground on fully-integrated automotive lead-acid battery recycling facility in US; targeted opening in 2012
Johnson Controls, Inc. broke ground on a fully-integrated automotive lead-acid battery recycling facility in Florence, S.C. The Florence Recycling Center, slated for completion during 2012 and to be operated by Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions business, represents a capital investment of more than $150 million. The facility is the first facility of its kind to receive an air permit in the United States in nearly 20 years.
More than 98% of the batteries are recycled. The post-consumer lead and polypropylene from the batteries will be reused to make more batteries. The electrolyte is transformed into a sodium sulfate salt, which is then used in textiles, glass, and detergent manufacturing. Iron by-products are used in other industrial processes.
The facility will adhere to the US EPA’s newly released, more stringent standards for ambient air, which reduced the acceptable concentration of lead in air by a factor of 10, changing the standard from 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter. The maximum predicted concentration of lead in the air from the facility will be less than one-half of the newly revised EPA standards.
All buildings where lead components are handled will be provided with “negative pressure” ventilation systems, such that outside air will enter the building and all air leaving the building will pass through air pollution control equipment.
Process buildings will be equipped with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which will capture dust particles down to 1 micron in size, meaning that more than 99.99% of emissions are controlled and filtered.
Johnson Controls is the leading supplier of lead-acid batteries for virtually every type of passenger car, light truck and utility vehicle.