Johnson Controls, Inc. has opened its $150-million Florence Recycling Center for automotive batteries in Florence, South Carolina. (Earlier post.) The facility will recycle 132,000 metric tons per year, or the equivalent of more than 14 million lead-acid automotive batteries.
The facility sits on a 685-acre site; Johnson Controls developed 36 acres of the site for construction of the facility and adjacent parking areas, with the remaining acreage undeveloped. Portions of the site will be permanently protected through a conservation easement.
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 latest 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 EPA standards.
Johnson Controls will minimize its environmental footprint within the state by protecting sensitive habitats, managing habitat for wildlife, participating in the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Program, and storm water management.