There are many types of batteries, with different chemistries for different applications. The UK Battery Regulations 2009 have categorized batteries broadly by their application into three groups, which are defined by the Government as follows:
An automotive battery is one which is used for the starting or ignition of the engine of a vehicle, or for providing power for any lighting used by such a vehicle.
An industrial battery or battery pack is
one which is:
|(i)||designed exclusively for industrial or professional uses;|
|(ii)||used as a source of power for propulsion in an electric vehicle;|
|(iii)||unsealed, but is not an automotive battery; or|
|(iv)||sealed, but is not a portable battery.|
The UK Battery Regulations define a portable battery or battery pack as one which is sealed, can be hand-carried without difficulty, and is neither an automotive nor industrial battery.
Environment Agency Guidance states “From 1 January 2016 any battery over 4 kg will be classed as industrial. Batteries below 4 kg may still be classed as industrial if they are designed exclusively for professional or industrial use”.
However, these classifications do not address the recycling route for batteries, which depends on the chemistry. The vast majority of Automotive batteries are the same chemisty – lead acid – but the Industrial and Portable categories contain batteries of every chemistry. The panel (here) highlights the main battery chemistries.
|THE MAIN CHEMISTRIES THAT ARE CONTAINED IN THESE GROUPS ARE -|
|Lead acid batteries
|Alkaline manganese batteries|
|Primary (single-use) Lithium batteries|
|Secondary (rechargeable) Lithium batteries|
|Lithium ion batteries|
|Nickel cadmium batteries|
|Nickel metal hydride batteries|
|Zinc carbon batteries|
|Silver oxide batteries|
|Zinc chloride batteries|
|Zinc air batteries|
|Mercury oxide batteries|
|Air depolarised batteries|
|DEFINITION OF A PORTABLE BATTERY|
Even with these definitions, in some circumstances it can still be difficult to decide whether a battery is Industrial or Portable. To help with this, Environment Agency has issued guidance to help clarify the open-ended question of what constitutes something that can be easily hand carried.
This states that any non Industrial battery that weighs less than 4 kg will definitely be Portable. Any battery over 10kg will definitely be Industrial (unless it is Automotive). Between 4 and 10kg, the decision
as to whether the battery is Portable or Industrial will depend on its size and shape.
(click on the link to find out more about each chemistry within automotive, portable and industrial waste batteries)