Lead, the most critical raw material in a lead acid storage battery is recyclable. Recycling an old battery to reclaim its lead content is not only socially and environmentally desirable, it also makes perfect economic sense for everyone involved in the value chain.

At Exide, we buy back old batteries as a part of our commitment to help protect the environment, and also to reduce the share of the unorganised market. We recycle these used batteries in smelters in various parts of the country.

We have two modern and hi-tech lead smelters near Bangalore and Pune, where we recycle old batteries. We also use third party smelters in the country's other parts, where old batteries procured by us are recycled and the lead is sold back to us in ingot form.

Did You Know?

Close to 40 per cent of the lead and lead alloy requirements of Exide are met through recycled lead.

LEAD: A friend turned foe

Lead, a major component of all batteries, is an extremely useful and friendly metal that does not corrode in water and can be used in many ways:

  1. Roofs in buildings (wherever water ingress is a problem)
  2. Provides effective insulation from noise
  3. Is used in industries to protect pipes and cables
  4. Lead pigments in paint protect steel construction against the impact of weather
  5. Lead Oxide improves the quality of glass in the optical industry
  6. Lead enhances the sparkle of crystal glass
  7. 60% of all lead in the world is used in batteries to store energy

Did You Know?

  • Lead was extracted in 3000 B.C. in Egypt and Central Europe
  • 6 million tonnes of lead is used every year
  • India uses approx. 140,000 MT of lead, of which 110,000 MT is used in the battery industry
  • Ores are present in the USA, Canada, Russia and Australia
  • Lead is totally recyclable and can be least polluting

However, this friendly metal can turn into a deadly foe if not used and handled in the correct manner. When lead is left unchecked in the atmosphere it can pollute the environment and cause lethal damage to organic life.

Lead in the atmosphere

Lead can enter our body through the skin or through inhalation. It gets absorbed in the lungs/digestive system and circulates as ionized lead in the blood. Many a times we ingest food and drink water that carry minute particles of lead.

Lead in the soil

Being heavy, lead enters the soil and sub-soil causing the level of lead in the soil and ground water to go up. This excess lead pollutes vegetation and affects fish, meat, livestock and human beings.

Smelting: A major cause of lead pollution

Smelting is a process by which used lead from an old battery is recycled for use in a new battery. However, there are thousands of local smelters who use crude smelting processes that are not environment friendly. Some of us junk our old batteries or give it to the kabadiwala. These land up in the hands of unauthorized local smelters. Their crude smelting process contributes majorly to lead pollution.


The need of the hour is to collect old batteries and recycle the lead in an environment friendly process to protect ourselves against lead pollution. Exide recycles old batteries through environment friendly smelting and eradicate lead pollution from this world. We urge consumers to return their old battery to an authorized Exide dealer when they are buying a new one.