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The Citrecycle Technology

Current Smelting Technology

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When people think industry, they think massive systems, uncontrolled pollution, toxic waste and energy intensive processes. Even recycling, which is proactively saving the planet, the perception is of large, industrial, polluting and energy intensive operations that are located away from the population. The reality is, when you come to lead acid battery recycling, current smelting techniques do require massive amounts of energy, and do result in large scale pollution and contamination if not controlled adequately. Unfortunately formal recycling in less developed regions often pays little regard to environmental controls as they simply cannot afford the additional costs associated with proper provision. As a result, highly polluting smelters are let loose on the environment, spewing toxic SOx and NOx as well as vast amounts of CO2 – a deadly cocktail.

In addition, smelting operations require incredible amounts of input in order to achieve sufficient efficiency to make profit. A thriving informal sector that lead to difficulties to collection and an inability to scale to compete with illegal operations means smelting plants simply won’t work in smaller towns and cities. For example, the Indian government legislates that battery manufacturers are required to collect 90% of all their batteries for recycling. They are currently stuck at 40%. Smelting does not work.

So you are left with a highly polluting formal sector that cannot secure supply to afford to pay for environmental controls, and a large scale informal sector polluting and contaminating haphazardly that cannot be reached using current processes.

Citrecycle uses natural Citric Acid to extract and purify lead from used lead acid batteries. The technology is non polluting and low carbon, as well as highly profitable at small scales. The technology facilitates local scale, clean, green recycling provisions.

Clean, Green and Safe

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Citric Acid provides the basis of the hydro-metallurgy process. Using this technique, we are able to avoid the need to heat to incredibly high temperatures, therefore saving energy, and in addition, we avoid airborne particulate and hazardous emissions. Essentially, the technology is inherently green, clean, safe and low carbon and therefore no extra costs are incurred to fulfill environmental obligations. Operating at a capacity comparable with a smelter, 10,000 tons per year, we save no less than 7000MWh of energy, 4,500 tons of CO2 and 7 tons of SOx and NOx.

High Profit, Local Scale

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The technology requires limited infrastructure and importantly can operate effiecintyl, with great profit, at very small scales. In comparison to large smelting units which need to reach vast amounts of batteries a day, the Citrecycle technology facilitates operations running as little as 2 tons per day. Using a hub and spoke style distributed system, we can penetrate the smaller towns and cities where smelting operations cannot reach. The ability to make profit at local, community scale is essential and therefore we are able to plug into the community unlike any other.

Citrecycle Magic

The basic technology itself is simple, easy to understand and has been around for a few years. However, as is, a number of problems exist which limit its ability to provide a feasible alternative to smelting in the future. Citrecycle has identified these flaws, addressed them creatively, adapted the basic technology and ultimately turned a once obsolete technology, into an extremely lucrative and powerful proposition with far reaching implications. The technology is the easy bit, to transform it into an application was the challenge.