Retriev Technologies Inc. has long been in the forefront of developing advanced battery recycling technologies. After years of research, Retriev has developed and implemented a groundbreaking, patented process to safely and efficiently recycle alkaline batteries.
Retriev’s new process revolutionizes the existing landscape for how alkaline batteries can be recycled and how that recycled material can now be reutilized in the production of new batteries.
Alkaline batteries contain three primary components: manganese dioxide (the positive electrode), zinc (the negative electrode), and steel (the battery casing). These three components makeup 93% of the average alkaline battery. The Retriev process is unique, in that these components are recovered using minimal energy outlay; at purity levels on par with virgin materials.
The Retriev process starts with the controlled crushing of alkaline batteries through an industrial hammermill. Using mechanical separation equipment, the discharge from the hammermill is divided into two streams: (1) steel from the battery casing; and (2) a mixture of manganese oxide and zinc from the battery electrodes. The steel is washed and cleaned of impurities, producing a final steel product that can be sold into secondary steel markets for reuse in countless new products.
The additional processing of the manganese oxide and zinc mixture is at the core of Retriev’s recycling innovation. The mixture undergoes Retriev’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process, which occurs at its Lancaster, Ohio recycling facility. Two product streams result from Retriev’s hydrometallurgical process: (1) a highly pure zinc oxide product; and (2) a highly pure manganese oxide product. These two products can displace virgin materials produced from mining and high temperature refining operations.