Our business activities > Lead > Business activity description

Recylex, a key player in lead production in Europe

Lead production is the Group's main business activity, representing 70% of consolidated sales. Recylex is Europe's third-largest lead producer. Using the Group’s effective technology, lead is smelted and refined in the form of ingots of pure metal or alloys, depending on the client's needs.



Unique expertise in battery recycling

Lead produced from the recycling of used batteries accounts for 70% of the Group's total lead production. This complementary activity is achieved by processing lead ore. Recylex benefits from 100 years' experience in recycling and enhancing used lead batteries.


Recylex collects, recycles and processes over 11 million batteries each year, representing over 131,000 tonnes. Thanks to its unique expertise, Recylex's process allows it to recycle 97% of a used battery, making it one of the most effective processes in terms of environment protection. Lead recycling is more efficient in terms of energy saving and limiting CO2 waste than direct production from lead ore.


Recylex has therefore established itself as a key player in lead recycling in Europe. The Group's environmental strategy reflects its high level of commitment to sustainable development.


The battery recycling process


Lead activity


  • Focus on used battery collection...

Recylex collects used lead batteries from a variety of suppliers, including collection professionals, waste collection centres, car workshops, garages and hypermarkets. These batteries are processed and recycled at our accredited facilities.


In order to ensure optimum environmental-friendliness, Recylex offers its partner suppliers turnkey solutions for the transportation of batteries:


-          Providing acid-resistant plastic containers free of charge that can hold up to 70 used batteries

-          Providing waterproof stainless steel skips free of change for the clean transportation of used batteries

-          Providing an accredited transporter to collect the used batteries

-          Recycling of used batteries in accordance with applicable environmental standards at Recylex's specialist plants

-          Traceability using the regulatory "Waste Monitoring Form".


  • Processing used batteries

The Group's processing plants, located in Villefranche-sur-Saône and Escaudœuvres in France, and in Goslar in Germany, receive whole used batteries, grind them and separate the constituent materials. The lead materials, oxides (known as paste) and metallic parts are sent to the Nordenham smelter in Germany, owned by subsidiary Weser-Metall GmbH.


Plastics are sold to the Group's plastics subsidiaries, C2P SAS in France and C2P Germany GmbH in Germany, which produce polypropylene compounds.


  • Smelting and refining

The lead materials are smelted and enhanced in the form of ingots at Weser-Metall GmbH’s plant in Nordenham (Germany). These ingots - which are of the same quality as lead produced from lead ore - are sold primarily to battery manufacturers.

Weser-Metall GmbH uses BSF (Bath Smelting Furnace) technology, which is highly energy efficient and very effective in terms of protecting the environment, processing up to 200,000 tonnes of materials and producing around 125,000 tonnes of metallic lead each year. The lead produced by the Recylex Group is nearly 100% pure.