Canadian Mining Journal


RECYCLING: Lithium Australia subsidiary to use metals from batteries for fertilizers

AUSTRALIA – Envirostream Australia, a 90%-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia, has announced that it is working on a project aimed at assessing the use of zinc and manganese derived from recycled alkaline batteries as micronutrients in blended fertilizers.

According to Envirostream, the fertilizer/wheat-seeding trial is being held near Kojonup, about 260 km southeast of Perth.

The zinc and manganese used in the fertilizers were recovered, as mixed metal dust (MMD), from single-use, disposable alkaline batteries like the ones commonly found in toys and remote-control units. Once recovered, the dust was agglomerated with mono-ammonium phosphate.

To conduct the trial, some seed furrows were left with no fertilizer; others received mono-ammonium phosphate fertilizer; others got mono-ammonium phosphate agglomerated with two different dosages of Envirostream’s MMD; while others were sprinkled with commercial fertilizer with added zinc and manganese.

“While fertilizers incorporating rapid-release micronutrients derived from alkaline batteries are available commercially in the northern hemisphere, the micronutrients Envirostream is producing are slow-release variants tailored specifically for broad-acre farming in Western Australia (WA),” the company said in a media statement. “It is hoped that the use of such nutrients in slow-release form – believed to be a first for the Antipodes – in the sandy soils, low in zinc and manganese, that characterise WA’s wheatbelt region will provide growers with significant benefits.”

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1 Comment » for RECYCLING: Lithium Australia subsidiary to use metals from batteries for fertilizers
  1. KenP says:

    Now, if only we had a proper collection system for recycling AA and AAA alkaline batteries here in the US. We generate so many used batteries every day. The last bunch I saved up and took to Best Buy, they said they just throw them in the trash! Go to other places like Batteries Plus and they say the same thing. Something is wrong here.

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