Gravita Wins India SME 100 Award 2012

India SME 100 AwardGRAVITA INDIA LIMITED has been awarded as “India SME 100 Awards” in an Award Ceremony organized by Reliance Commercial Finance and Supported by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The Award was received by Mr. Rajat Agrawal, Managing Director of the Company. Total 42623 Nominations were received and 100 Best SME’s were selected based on evaluation process audited by SDRC.

The Awardees had interaction with Mrs. Vijayalakshmi R. Iyer, Chairperson and Managing Director of Bank of India, V. Balasubramaniam, Chief Business officer BSE Ltd., Mr. Parag Patki CEO of SMERA.

Gravita is planning for exceptional growth and towards this end it has upgraded and done expansion at its Jaipur manufacturing plant during the financial year 2012-13. Going forward, the Company is planning to enter into value-added products of Lead metal to cater to global requirements.

How Lead Acid Battery Works ?

Let me give you the big picture first for those who aren’t very detail oriented. Basically, when a battery is being discharged, the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte is being depleted so that the electrolyte more closely resembles water. At the same time, sulfate from the acid is coating the plates and reducing the surface area over which the chemical reaction can take place. Charging reverses the process, driving the sulfate back into the acid. That’s it in a nutshell, but read on for a better understanding. If you’ve already run from the room screaming and pulling your hair, don’t worry.

Lead Acid Battery

The electrolyte (sulfuric acid and water) contains charged ions of sulfate and hydrogen. The sulfate ions are negatively charged, and the hydrogen ions have a positive charge. Here’s what happens when you turn on a load (headlight, starter, etc). The sulfate ions move to the negative plates and give up their negative charge. The remaining sulfate combines with the active material on the plates to form lead sulfate. This reduces the strength of the electrolyte, and the sulfate on the plates acts as an electrical insulator. The excess electrons flow out the negative side of the battery, through the electrical device, and back to the positive side of the battery. At the positive battery terminal, the electrons rush back in and are accepted by the positive plates. The oxygen in the active material (lead dioxide) reacts with the hydrogen ions to form water, and the lead reacts with the sulfuric acid to form lead sulfate.

The ions moving around in the electrolyte are what create the current flow, but as the cell becomes discharged, the number of ions in the electrolyte decreases and the area of active material available to accept them also decreases because it’s becoming coated with sulfate. Remember, the chemical reaction takes place in the pores on the active material that’s bonded to the plates.

Many of you may have noticed that a battery used to crank a bike that just won’t start will quickly reach the point that it won’t even turn the engine over. However, if that battery is left to rest for a while, it seems to come back to life. On the other hand, if you leave the switch in the “park” position overnight (only a couple of small lamps are lit), the battery will be totally useless in the morning, and no amount of rest will cause it to recover. Why is this? Since the current is produced by the chemical reaction at the surface of the plates, a heavy current flow will quickly reduce the electrolyte on the surface of the plates to water. The voltage and current will be reduced to a level insufficient to operate the starter. It takes time for more acid to diffuse through the electrolyte and get to the plates’ surface. A short rest period accomplishes this. The acid isn’t depleted as quickly when the current flow is small (like to power a tail light bulb), and the diffusion rate is sufficient to maintain the voltage and current. That’s good, but when the voltage does eventually drop off, there’s no more acid hiding in the outer reaches of the cell to migrate over to the plates. The electrolyte is mostly water, and the plates are covered with an insulating layer of lead sulfate. Charging is now required.

Global supply of refined lead metal exceeded demand – ILZSG

Refined LeadThe International Lead and Zinc Study Group released preliminary data for world lead supply and demand during 2012. The data compiled by the ILZSG indicate that in 2012 global supply of refined lead metal exceeded demand by 64 kilo tonne. Over the same period inventories reported by theLondon Metal Exchange Shanghai Future Exchange and producers and consumers increased by 23 kilo tonne totalling 628 kilo tonne the year end.

Global lead mine production increased by 11.5% compared to 2011. Output was higher in a number of countries including Mexico, Peru, the Russian Federation and Turkey, however the increase was principally due to a reported 20.4% rise in China.Other key results are:

Rises in output of refined lead metal in the India, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States were largely balanced by reductions in Australia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, New Zealand and Spain resulting in a limited global increase of 0.2%. Output in China was at the same level as in 2011.

Despite a further decline in European demand for refined lead metal of 2.4%, world usage increased by 1.3%. This was primarily a consequence of higher demand in India, Japan, Mexico and the United States. Apparent demand in China was unchanged from 2011. China’s imports of lead contained in lead concentrates rose by 26.3% to reach a record of just over a million tonnes.

Cash Settlement and Forward Three Month Prices on the LME averaged USD 2061 and USD 2073 respectively during 2012, 14% and 13.3% lower than during 2011. The highest Cash Settlement Price of USD 2340 was recorded on 31 December and the lowest of USD 1744 on 27 June.

Source: ILZSG

Lead Battery Breaking System

Battery Crushing MachineNo matter which recycling technology is to be adopted, the batteries must always be drained before they enter the recycling process, since the acidic electrolyte produces several complications in the lead fusion-reduction. After drainage, batteries may or may not be broken, depending on the specific recycling process adopted.

Classic methodologies of lead recycling processes, including Water-Jacket Blast furnaces, reverberatory furnaces, electric arc furnaces, and short and long rotary furnaces, do not require battery breakage before the smelting process. The drained batteries are entered directly into the recycling process since pyrometalurgic techniques accept organic materials and other substances, which are burned or incorporated into the slag.

However, processes in which the batteries are broken prior to the recycling process are preferable due to:
(a) increase in the percentage lead production and decrease in the slag formation;
(b) possibility of soft lead production as well as antimonial lead;
(c) possibility of polypropylene recovery;
(d) simplification of furnace smoke treatment;
(e) pyrometalurgical techniques cannot accept the acid from battery electrolyte.

Furthermore, improvements in the battery production industry lead ultimately to the production of sealed batteries and other systems which are no longer easily drained. Therefore, an increasing amount of batteries must be broken before entering the recycling process.

Before the 1960’s, batteries were opened mainly by ax just when the recycling process demanded a lower organic content into the furnace otherwise they were inserted directly into the furnace. Although this situation has changed in most countries, especially in the developed ones, unfortunately it has not in most developing countries. It must be stressed, however, that manual breaking of batteries should be avoided at all costs, not only because it is a major source of human health contamination but also because it is an environmentally unsound management of these wastes. Nevertheless, some modern smelting plants still require manual breaking of big industrial batteries that cannot be broken by normal apparatus due to its size. If such technique is needed, all proper measures must be taken to provide protection to the workers and the environment.

During the decades of 60’s and 70’s, the battery breaking evolved into a mechanical guillotine or saw that greatly reduced human contact with the breakage process. They were also supplemented by automatic feed and were the first examples of entirely mechanized systems, some of them are still in use.

From the 1980 onwards, most of the modern smelting plants were adopting a totally mechanized system in which the batteries were received, transported and broken into sufficiently small pieces in order to separate the battery constituents:

The modern battery breaking process starts with the arrival of used batteries at the recycling facility. Human contact is usually minimized as much as possible so the used batteries are received and directed to the breaking apparatus by means of automatic mats or small wagons whenever possible.

Once the batteries arrive at the breaking machine, they are processed in the hammer mills, or other crushing mechanisms, that break them into small pieces. This breakage procedure ensures that all components, such as lead plates, connectors, plastic boxes and acid electrolyte are easily separated in the subsequent steps.

After breakage, the lead oxides and sulfates are separated from the other materials by gravity in water by a system of moving mesh conveyers. After separation, they are directed to a furnace, in case of pyrometalurgic techniques, or for other processes, for example hydrometallurgical techniques.

After the first rough breakage, sometimes there are other crushing mechanisms that further decrease the size of the remaining materials. The metallic parts, including lead plates, grids, connectors and terminals, are then separated from the organic parts, which include boxes, either polypropylene, ebonite or PVC, in the form of the plate separators, etc., by means of density difference in hydraulic separators which differ from process to process.

Other processes, through use of density properties and hydraulic mechanisms, separate the broken battery pieces in three different layers: the first one is constituted of light fractions such as plastics, the second is constituted of fine granular pieces of lead oxide and sulfates and the third one is the heavy layer consisting of lead plates, connectors, etc. This method, therefore, lacks the filtration step in order to remove lead compounds prior to plastic recovery. However, the complexity of these systems make them difficult to regulate and use.

After these separation steps, the organic layer is further separated into polypropylene wastes (called light organics), and separators and ebonite (called heavy organics). The light organics are then washed to remove traces of lead oxides, milled to small pieces, according to their future use, while the ebonite and separators are conveniently stored. Unless the breakage system is connected to the oven in a continuous process, the lead compounds and metallic parts are also stored until further processing.

Battery breaking methods differ from one another in process details and evolve as new technology becomes available. The suitability of each one for a given lead recovery plant depends on several specific factors such as local economy, quantity of raw materials as well as the demands of the smelting facility. Some examples of these systems are the Metaleurop, Bunker Hill, Gravita Technomech and MA Engineering, which can be understood in detail by consulting specialized references.

Nevertheless, every effort should be made to eliminate the use of manual battery breaking and the health and safety risks that are associated with this practice. If mechanical battery breaking equipment is unavailable, for whatever reason, the safest approach to prepare the battery for smelting would be the following: puncture and drain the electrolyte for the battery and treat it accordingly; remove the top of the battery complete with plates and separators using a circular saw and observing the correct use of guards and protective equipment; send the plates and grids with the top of the battery to the smelter; return the battery case to the manufacturer for reuse.

This section, and the other two sections in the lead reduction and lead refining processes, is not designed to describe or extensively list all possible sources of contamination that may occur in the lead recovery processes, since this is almost an impossible task. It is designed, instead, to itemize just a short and predictable list of common contamination sources and where to look when searching for them. Specific sources of contamination will have to be determined in the light of the process employed. Methods of contamination prevention will be treated in the environmental protection chapter. That stated, the common sources of environmental impacts in the battery breaking process are then:

(a) Spilling batteriesacid electrolyte and lead dust contamination source: battery spillage may be a very common source of environmental contamination as well as human health injuries since the electrolyte is not only a strongly corrosive solution but also a good carrier of soluble lead and lead particulates. Therefore, if this solution spills in an unprotected area, it may contaminate the soil or injure workers. Besides, after spilling on unprotected soil, the soil itself becomes a source of lead dust once the solution evaporates and the lead becomes incorporated into soil particles which may be blown by wind or raised by vehicle transit;

(b) Manual battery breakingsource of human health injury and environmental damage through heavy spillage and lead contaminated dust formation: manual breaking usually relies on primitive tools, poorly protected workers and no environmental protection whatsoever. The situation is even worst in the case of sealed batteries, which are not easily drained, increasing dramatically the risk of heavy spillage and damage to human health. Therefore, it should be avoided at all costs;

(c) Mechanical battery breakingsource of lead particulate: the process of breaking batteries through crushing on hammer mills may spread lead particulate. However, the fact that the mill is sealed and uses copious quantities of water the formation of such particulates is prevented.

(d) Hydraulic separationscontaminated water leakage: the hydraulic separations, both metallic from organic and heavy organics from light organics, are usually preformed inside sealed machines and with a closed water system. However, if any water leakage occurs, it will be heavily contaminated by lead compounds;

(e) Plastic and ebonite chipscontaminated wastes: ebonite scraps removed from the breaking process may pose a problem, since they are usually contaminated by levels as high as 5% (w/w) of lead. Therefore, it is important that the final traces of lead are removed by a second wash, preferably in an alkaline solution, followed by another rinse prior to further treatment or disposal.

Gravita Reports 146% increase in its Q3 Net Profits

Lead and Lead Alloys ManufacturerGravita India Limited, Jaipur, has announced its Financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Consolidated Net total income for the quarter was Rs. 11307.01 Lacs, showing an increase of 59% over the total income for the corresponding quarter of previous year.

The EBITDA of the Company increased by 189% in Q3 FY 2012-13 compared to the corresponding quarter of previous year. Over the last 10 months, the Share of the Company has gained 21% outpacing the Sensex’s 14.5% gain. In addition to above the Board of Directors of the Company have declared 2nd Interim Dividend for the Financial Year 2012-13 @15% on total issued capital of the Company.

The Company has recently expanded its Plant operations at Jammu and Senegal by implementing upgraded Plant & Machinery. The Company is in the process of establishing a new plant in Gujarat. The Company’s Jaipur Plant is also under expansion of production capacity. See Results on Gravita India Ltd.

Company Profile:

Gravita India Ltd. is Leading Indian Company having state-of-the-art Lead Processing unit at Jaipur (Rajasthan), INDIA. We carry out smelting of Lead Ore / Lead Concentrate / Lead Battery Scrap to produce primary & secondary Lead Metal, which is further transformed into Pure Lead, Specific Lead Alloy, Lead Oxides (Lead Sub-Oxide, Red Lead, and Litharge) and Lead Products like Lead Sheets, Lead Pipes etc. with proven technology and processes.