Currently, Brazil does not have a primary lead production due to the depletion of its galena mines. As a result, the entire Brazilian production line is now derived from two secondary sources of recycling and/or imports. After the Basel Convention, lead–acid batteries were classified as hazardous waste and their international trade was affected. Consequently, there was a significant impact on the economics of the metal, since the price of the primary metal is higher than the price of its scrap. This fact, associated with the enactment of specific legislation, favoured the growing demand for lead recycling In Brazil. Establishments that commercialize automotive batteries are obliged to accept the return of used batteries of any brand (CONAMA Resolution 257/99), and to preserve the acidic solution (i.e., not throwing it in sewers nor adding water). Until the end of the 1980s, Brazil and other countries in South America had recycling industries that were inefficient with a high adverse environmental impact. In the early 1990s, Brazil had dozens of small smelters that operated with small furnaces of around 3 to 7 tons and with precarious production systems and poor environmental controls. Accordingly the Brazilian government commenced a strong environmental campaign to monitor and upgrade these companies that demanded high investments and radical improvements in production techniques and in anti-pollution equipment on the part of the recyclers. Coupled with the fall in the price of battery recycling services, entrepreneurs who wanted to stay in the market had to reduce process losses and reduce production costs. This scenario forced the industries to invest heavily in efficient production processes and equipment, the small kilns were replaced by larger furnaces with a mean of around 40 to 50 tons, so that most of the small smelters could not survive and closed their production units. This presentation with detail how those facilities that have improved efficiency, increased production capacity, high quality products and efficient environmental control systems have remained in the market.
Almir Trindade holds a degree in Mining Engineering and a Post Graduate in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering He has been the director of Antares Reciclagem for more than 20 years and has developed numerous projects in the area of treatment and recycling of industrial chemical waste. Amir has received numerous Brazilian awards in the environmental sector and has given presentations at several international conferences.
International P&D and International Relations
Matheus Zampier, who is graduating in Industrial Engineering, has studied in New Zealand and Canada, has been the main contact and researcher of Antares Reciclagem in International subjects for more than 2 years and has helped in numerous projects in the area of treatment and recycling of industrial chemical waste.