Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market: Lucrative Opportunities in Automotive Sector

The lead-acid battery scrap market is estimated to grow at a healthy rate due to its high-recyclable value and multi-purpose applications in industries such as automotive, electric power industry, and the telecom sector. Whether lead-acid batteries are completely or partially drained, the battery paste is reused to make new batteries, and the metallic components are sent for melting and casting to manufacture products used in various industries, which is creating new opportunities for lead-acid battery scrap dealers and suppliers.

Lead-acid batteries have increasingly been used in the automotive sector. Since nearly three-quarters of lead-acid batteries are made of metal, and metal is easy to recycle, it yields a significant price as per volume per ton. Thus, the lucrative business of recycling is helping lead-acid battery scrap dealers further increase their business scope due to the hundred percent recycling rate of lead-acid batteries.

Since the automotive sector accounts for more than half of the lead acid battery scrap market share, stakeholders are aiming to maximize their business potential in various regions where the automotive business is currently flourishing. Due to a growth in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe, there is increasing demand from automotive manufacturers for recycled lead-acid batteries to manufacture EVs.

In spite of recycled lead-acid batteries being large in size and too heavy in relation to their capacity, automotive manufacturers are driving the demand for recycled lead-acid batteries in EVs due to their low-cost production and safe-to-recycle attributes, compared to lithium-ion batteries, which also serves as a solution for renewable energy storage in EVs. Thus, lead-acid battery scrap suppliers are leading towards a sustainable future for the automotive industry by transforming their company’s infrastructure facilities for the efficient handling and recycling of lead-acid batteries.

lead acid battery scrap market infographic

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Efficacious Power Storage of Flooded Batteries: A Boon for Solar Industry

New chemistries in the lead-acid battery scrap landscape are boosting its sales potential in various industrial applications as a sustainable back-up power source. Similarly, the battery paste that is obtained during the collection and segregation of lead-acid battery scrap can be reused in solar home appliances, owing to its efficacious storage of solar power, creating new avenues of growth for lead-acid battery scrap market players.

Likewise, stakeholders in the lead-acid battery scrap landscape are gaining different advantages, depending on the type of lead-acid battery used in solar appliances. Since flooded lead-acid batteries account for more than half of the market share, stakeholders are capitalizing on their cost-effective and long-lasting attributes as a must-have standard in the solar industry. However, flooded lead-acid batteries require regular upkeep to maintain the quality of their lifespan.

In terms of maintenance-free storage capacity, sealed lead-acid batteries help fill this gap for consumers who demand minimum maintenance solar appliances. However, sealed lead-acid batteries, including AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) and gel batteries, are priced higher than flooded lead-acid batteries. Thus, stakeholders in the lead-acid battery scrap landscape are trying to equalize the demand for both the types of batteries by also providing high-charge resistance in AGM batteries and high-temperature resistance in gel batteries.

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Developments in Efficient Treatment of Lead-acid Battery Scrap and Rural Markets Shape-Shift Business Scope

As far as the treatment of lead-acid battery scrap in concerned, almost half of the market landscape is dominated by the pyrometallurgy method, as it is one of the most prominent methods for the recycling procedure. However, pyrometallurgy poses a potential health risk for individuals as well as an environmental risk, as the high temperature procedure leads to high atmospheric emissions and complex compounds. The other treatment method for lead-acid battery scrap ? hydrometallurgy, also results in laborious procedures, generates huge volumes of wastewater and high electricity consumption. Thus, ongoing research on new methods of treating lead-acid battery scrap include the sulfur-fixing recycling technique, electrowinning, biological techniques, and vacuum methods, which are more feasible.

Lead-acid battery scrap plays a major role in the electric power industry, which is creating opportunities for stakeholders in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and rural areas of developing economies. On an average, the recycling of used lead-acid batteries is cost-effective, and these recycled lead-acid batteries are available at much cheaper rates for purchase in the market, compared to other types of recycled batteries. Due to the potential market growth of lead-acid battery scrap, especially in the Asia Pacific region, in a country like India, battery power storage becomes highly important due to frequent electricity power cuts in major cities as well as tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and rural areas. Thus, stakeholders can act as a bridge between the problem and solution for frequent power cuts by helping manufacturers increase their production capacities in making stand-alone power systems, load levelling systems, and UPS systems (Uninterruptible Power Supply) with the help of recycled lead-acid batteries, which will help manufacturers reduce their operational cost and create opportunities for stakeholders in the rural market.

lead acid battery scrap market segmentation

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Strategic Collaborations Lead to Cost-effective Recycling of Lead-acid Battery Scrap

The lead-acid battery scrap landscape is highly fragmented, which is creating opportunities for new entrants to penetrate into the market. However, a major issue that remains a key concern for existing and new stakeholders is stringent environment regulations from governments for the treatment of lead. As the segregation of lead results in hazardous industrial wastes, plastics, and paper wastes, stakeholders are tackling the issue with sustainable business operations.

With appropriate recycling procedures such as melting down and reformation of battery casing and plates, or converting electrolytes into sodium sulfate, which can be used to produce detergents, textiles, and glass materials, can reduce lead-acid pollution in the environment. Thus, companies are building strategic tie-ups for the efficient collection and recycling of lead-acid battery scrap. For instance, in May 2018, Gravita India Ltd.- a global manufacturer and exporter of lead material, announced a collaboration with Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. - a leading multinational manufacturer of automotive batteries, to efficiently treat and recycle lead-acid battery scrap. In order to take a step towards environment protection and sustainability, this collaboration will also serve as a cost-effective and long-term partnership to productively recycle lead-acid battery scrap.

Analysts’ Viewpoint

Analysts of the lead-acid battery scrap market have a positive outlook of the market, in terms of revenue and incremental growth, for the projection period of 2019-2027. The lead-acid battery scrap market is anticipated to expand the most in the Asia Pacific region, followed by Europe and North America. Increasing adoption of electric vehicles and emerging opportunities in solar and oil & gas industries are fueling the demand for lead-acid battery scrap.

However, the high risk of health-related issues and stringent environmental regulations for efficient treatment during the segregation of lead-acid battery scrap are negatively affecting market growth. Thus, sustainable treatment operations and strategic collaborations with industry players are evolving the growth of the lead-acid battery scrap market towards an environmentally-safe and profitable future for exponential business growth.

Lead-acid Battery Scrap: Description

  • Lead-acid battery scrap is waste/used batteries that are either drained/recycled or directly disposed after usage. More than 95% of lead-acid battery scrap is recyclable; it can be re-used in the production of new lead-acid batteries.
  • According to the Federal Law in the U.S., lead-acid battery scrap needs to be managed as Universal Waste (40 CFR Part 273). The Universal Waste rule prohibits handlers (for example, contractors) from disposing of waste lead batteries. It necessitates that these batteries be sent for recycling.
  • The Government of India published a notification implementing the Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, for battery manufacturers, importers, assemblers, and re-conditioners and recyclers. The document states the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in the battery value chain, thereby regulating the flow of new and scrap batteries in the country.
  • China and India have imposed a ban on unregulated lead smelting, which poses threat to the environment. 

Increase in Environmental Concerns  

  • Raw materials used in the manufacture of lead-acid batteries, primarily lead, pose high threat to the environment. The improper disposal of lead-acid battery scrap into landfills increases the chances of hazardous lead finding its way into groundwater and surface water sources.
  • The battery manufacturing industry has identified environment-related hazards caused by the improper disposal of lead-acid battery scrap, and has taken initiatives to collect and recycle these batteries.
  • The commercial value obtained from the recycling of lead-acid battery scrap is also high, as batteries comprise around 70% to 100% of recyclable lead. Lead is non-renewable. However, it can be indefinitely recycled. Thus, there is constant supply of lead from used batteries.
  • Several non-profit organizations have also taken initiatives to increase awareness about battery recycling, thereby increasing the flow of lead-acid battery scrap for recycling purposes. They collaborate with various automotive companies, battery manufacturers, and service providers for the same. Also, the collection and recycling of lead-acid battery scrap in order to extract lead and other products is gaining momentum across the globe.
  • Thus, increase in awareness about environment-related issues and health hazards is expected to drive the global lead-acid battery scrap market during the forecast period. 

Lack of Skilled Workforce in Waste Collection

  • Lack of skilled workforce to handle and segregate hazardous waste from non-hazardous waste, such as industrial waste, plastic waste, paper waste, and used battery waste, is a major challenge facing the global lead-acid battery scrap market.
  • Poor training and lack of availability of materials have resulted in non-compliance of packaging and load restraint requirements during the logistics of lead-acid battery scrap, leading to an increase in risks to the public and environment in the event of an accident.
  • In recent years, several cases of mixing of lithium-ion batteries with lead-acid battery scrap have come to light. These incidents have resulted in explosions during the recycling process, as lithium-ion batteries are volatile and can explode if not handled carefully, unlike lead-acid batteries. These cases indicate lack of awareness and shortage of skilled workforce in the collection and sorting process, wherein, batteries are segregated based on their chemical composition.
  • Companies/service providers engaged in the collection of waste need to be skilled and efficient in segregating hazardous waste from non-hazardous waste before transferring them to processing/treatment facilities.
  • Thus, the lack of skilled workforce is expected to be a major restraint for the global lead-acid battery scrap market during the forecast period. 

Expansion of Lead-acid Battery Recycling Industry to Boost Lead Industry

  • Lead-acid battery scrap is widely recycled, due to the hazardous nature of lead. The extracted lead from the lead-acid battery scrap is re-used as a raw material in the manufacture of batteries and stainless steel.
  • Secondary lead is a major source of lead metal production across the world. The global production of refined lead from scrap and other secondary sources accounts for more than 55% share of the total lead production.
  • The usage of secondary lead also saves the environment from potential hazards that are likely to occur if hazardous metal is dumped in the open.
  • The use of secondary lead metal extracted from lead-acid battery scrap also saves the cost incurred for primary lead extraction from the ore. Thus, battery recycling provides lucrative opportunities to the lead extracting & reselling industry. 

Recent Developments, Expansions, Acquisitions, and New Contracts

  • In May 2018, Duracell and Bee’ah signed a partnership agreement to drive battery recycling initiatives across the UAE. The agreement includes The Great Battery Challenge, a battery recycling program set to launch across 100 schools and 50 retail outlets in the UAE.
  • In June 2018, Exide Industries Ltd announced that it had signed an agreement with Tudor India Pvt Ltd to acquire the latter’s factory in Gujarat, India, at an undisclosed price that is expected to be less than US$ 250 Mn. Tudor India Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary of GNB Industrial Power (UK) Ltd, and is part of Exide Technologies Group. It manufactures and sells lead-acid storage batteries under the Prestolite brand in India.
  • In December 2018, China-based LIAONING TELI ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY CO, LTD awarded Engitec Technologies S.p.A. a contract to set up a complete used lead-acid battery scrap and recycling plant in the new factory located in the Liaoning Province, China. The new plant is expected to process more than 150.000 t/year of lead-acid batteries, and include the most recent technologies, ranging from scrap battery feeding to final refined lead ingots. 

Asia Pacific Dominates Global Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market

  • Asia Pacific dominated the global lead-acid battery scrap market in 2018. Increase in environmental concerns and implementation of strict environmental policies regarding battery recycling are positively impacting the lead-acid battery scrap market in the region. China is a major country of the lead-acid battery scrap market in Asia Pacific.
  • The lead-acid battery scrap market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a substantial pace during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the increase in demand for batteries for large-scale storage purposes in the region, especially in developing economies such as China and India. 

Highly Competitive Market with Dominance of Top Players

  • The global lead-acid battery scrap market is highly fragmented with the presence of a large number of local, regional, and global players. The report comprises the profiles of major companies operating in the global lead-acid battery scrap market.
  • Key players operating in the global lead-acid battery scrap market are -
    • Johnson Controls International PLC
    • Gravita India Ltd.
    • EnerSys
    • Exide Industries Ltd.
    • SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT S.A.
    • Aqua Metals Inc.
    • Battery Solutions LLC
    • AMIDT GROUP
    • Duracell Inc.
    • Engitec Technologies SpA
    • ECOBAT Technologies Ltd
    • Bee'ah Sharjah Environment Company LLC
    • Madenat Al Nokhba Recycling Services LLC
    • EnviroServe

Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market: Scope of the Report

Analysts at Transparency Market Research, in their recently generated research report, have given comprehensive and objective insights on the expansive market landscape of lead-acid battery scrap. The study is impactful, insightful, and actionable, and will equip B2B stakeholders with strategic tools that will serve as game-changers and considerably improve their bottom line.

The report extensively brings out the dynamics of the lead-acid battery scrap industry that are currently affecting its market landscape. Special emphasis has been laid on the drivers, restraints, opportunities, threats, and value chain analysis of the lead-acid battery scrap market. This in-depth research report also does an extensive SWOT analysis of leading industry heavyweights in the lead-acid battery scrap landscape, in an attempt to garner information on industry strongholds as well as areas of improvement. This gives stakeholders a holistic view of the lead-acid battery scrap market, especially for the forecast period.

The study on the lead-acid battery scrap market has also conducted a thorough appraisal of Porter’s Five Forces analysis. This is an attempt to let players know what the growth strategies and underlying opportunities are that could enable them in making expert decisions in the vast landscape of the lead-acid battery scrap market. An extensive global research done on the market also strives to highlight the key market trends in the lead-acid battery scrap industry that are likely to propel its growth during the forecast period. Competitive analysis of manufacturers in the lead-acid battery scrap market by our top researchers perhaps remains the most vital ingredient in giving insights about mergers, acquisitions, research and development, and technological innovations. These allow competitors to accelerate their growth in the right direction.

Statistical assessments of lead-acid battery scrap market growth have been carried out in terms of value (US$ Mn) and volume (Million Units).

Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market - Key Questions Answered

Authors of this report at Transparency Market Research, through a detailed study and intelligent analytics, have arrived at some key questions that give business stakeholders a holistic and refreshing perspective of the lead-acid battery scrap landscape. Through statistical analysis, detailed figures have been arrived at, which describe the growth of the lead-acid battery scrap market. Influential insights help answer critical questions, some of which are listed below:

  • What are the key factors that are influencing the lead-acid battery scrap market in each region?
  • What kind of environmental regulations have been imposed by governments in the arena of lead-acid battery scrap, and how will these shape-shift the market?
  • What are the revenue portfolios and key strategies of major market players who manufacture lead-acid battery scrap?
  • Which battery type will increase the future business scope of lead-acid battery scrap market stakeholders?
  • What are the revenue figures of the global lead-acid battery scrap market by battery, product, source, method, and region?

Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market: Research Methodology

Extensive research has been carried out using both, primary and secondary research parameters for the lead-acid battery scrap market. Information on the lead-acid battery scrap market has been sourced from Transparency Market Research’s internal repositories as well as client-specific databases. Qualitative and quantitative information on the lead-acid battery scrap sector is then extracted by exhaustive research. Demand analysis of lead-acid battery scrap across regions and countries is done. Our research on the lead-acid battery scrap market has been lauded and widely sought-after, thanks to the infinite supply of information that we obtain from company websites, industrial publications, and government statistics. Face-to-face interviews give us valuable inputs in the planning stage of the research. Key opinion leaders, distributors, and vendors of the lead-acid battery scrap market also aided us in analyzing the demand-supply gap, if any.

Lead-acid Battery Scrap Market: Segmentation

Battery

Flooded

Sealed

  • AGM
  • Gel

Product

Lead

Sulfuric Acid

Others

Source

Motor Vehicles

UPS

Telecom Stations

Electric Power Industries

Watercraft

Aircraft

Military

Oil and Gas Industries

Stand-alone Systems

Others

Method

Collection & Segregation

Pyrometallurgical Treatment

Hydrometallurgical Treatment

Neutralization of Acid

Region

North America

Europe

Asia Pacific

Latin America

Middle East and Africa

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