A start-up micro-company targeting safe, clean, local and sustainable lead-acid battery recycling in India and other parts of the developing world has moved into laboratory space at Norwich Research Park.
Citrecycle – based in the Accelerator Suite at Norwich Research Park’s Innovation Centre – has developed a sustainable process to profitably revolutionise the recycling of lead-acid batteries, a procedure that currently has a damaging effect on human health and the natural environment in many developing countries.
Chief Executive Officer Joshua George said Citrecycle is now seeking funding to establish its first plant in India, where recycling lead acid batteries is big business – much of it conducted by unregulated operators. The template could be scaled and adapted for use anywhere in the world.
“Our focus is the safe disposal of batteries and a clean, green way of recycling the lead they contain,” said Mr George. “Our process is more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and benefits the local community.”
“Recycled lead is highly prized because of its value, but it is very toxic to anyone who handles it without proper protection. The high temperature smelting process used to recover the lead, releases a lot of harmful particulate into the air which can have a catastrophic effect on the health of people who breathe the air and drink the water,” he said.
“Our process for recycling lead is more efficient, more profitable, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.”
“The Accelerator Suite is great as it gives us access to both equipment and business support. Everything was ready and waiting for us when we arrived which enabled us to get to work straight away,” said Mr George.
Major companies involved in the lead-acid battery industry have shown interest in Citrecycle’s emission-free process which uses natural solvents while reducing carbon output by more than half.
“It’s a win-win,” said Mr George. “It doesn’t pollute the environment or adversely affect the health of the local community. It’s less hazardous for the collectors and recyclers – and it is more profitable for them.”
Dr Kenny Lang, Business Development Director at Norwich Research Park said: “The Accelerator laboratories and offices were developed to help businesses at the start of their journey. A shared environment, we offer access to support and access to equipment to ensure new businesses are given the greatest possible chance of success.
“Accelerator has been really well received and I am delighted to welcome our latest occupier Citrecycle to the Park.”