General overview of the battery refurbishment business
The newly introduced Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 defines a refurbisher as any entity involved in the refurbishment process. The battery refurbishing business involves offering the service of restoring energy-less batteries to their total original capacity. The process can be done in two ways: using some simple methods or by adding some chemicals.
Notably, battery reconditioning or refurbishing is quite similar to recycling, albeit with a difference. The battery recycling process involves crushing the batteries, while on the other hand, refurbishing uses a chemical for battery restoration. Indeed, this shows that the battery refurbishing business is a good and lucrative option for entrepreneurs promoting a sustainable environment.
Although lucrative, this business is not as simple as one thinks. The reason is battery refurbishment can be a bit daunting process. But, conducting thorough research on the battery refurbishing business allows us to understand the entire process.
Following are the battery types that you can work on under your battery refurbishment business -
- Lithium Ion
- Lead Acid
- Nickel Cadmium
Roles and responsibilities of a refurbisher as per the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022
- A battery refurbisher must carry out any activity according to the guidelines prescribed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);
- Make sure that the generated waste during refurbishing and handling activities must be managed according to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 and Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016;
- Make sure that battery refurbishment processes and units abide by the rules and regulations stipulated by CBCP;
- All refurbishers involved in the battery refurbishing business must register on the centralised portal of the SPCB;
- Remove that waste battery from the collected appliance (if the battery is included in the equipment);
- File quarterly returns in Form IV;
- The refurbishers must submit transaction details on the online portal for filing quarterly returns.
- Make available the total quantity of waste batteries processed by units involved in the battery refurbishment business quarterly;
- Refurbishers must not deal with any other non-registered facility under the BWM rules.
The need for the battery refurbishment business
Due to the strict government regulations regarding greenhouse gases emission worldwide, the global battery refurbishing business sector is flourishing. Moreover, the general population is becoming aware of battery recycling. Thereby increasing the market demand and opening up more platforms for the sector. In addition to all these, upon realising the harm caused to humans and the environment due to battery waste, battery manufacturers intend to establish their refurbishing units.
According to the study, the battery refurbishment industry is expected to see exponential growth again because of the strict environmental rules from the government. The fastest growing area with a lucrative market for battery recycling the Asia Pacific and India. However, India has fewer labour protection laws and environmental regulations; the nation is anticipated to see a hike in this field between 2016 and 2024.
The study further reveals that the automotive industry has the highest demand for the battery refurbishing business sector. This trend was recorded in 2016, and it continues today. The reason for the same is that the automotive industry uses battery energy widely and has witnessed an increase in sales over the past years. Thus, this has led to a direct impact on the battery refurbishing market. Another crucial factor responsible for sustainable battery refurbishing is the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This is explained in detail in the next section.
Introduction of the Extend Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificate
As mentioned above, implementing EPR is also essential for the growth of the battery refurbishment business. An environment protection strategy, EPR holds the producer/manufacturer of the product responsible for the complete lifecycle of the product. The responsibility strictly involves proper recycling and disposal of the product.
To fulfil the EPR, it is necessary to obtain the certificates granted by CPCB. The EPR certificate for the battery refurbishment business is granted depending on the refurbished quantities assigned to the refurbishers. However, the refurbishers can then sell the granted EPR certificate to the producer in exchange for waste batteries.
Other factors for granting EPR certificates are a geographical source of batteries like imported or domestic and fulfilment of material recovery targets for a particular year.
EPR certificates remain valid for seven years to meet the producer's obligations.
Benefits of battery refurbishment business
It helps to save money
Battery refurbishment prevents spending extra money to buy and dispose of old batteries.
Promote sustainable environmental development
Every year, hundred of thousand of a ton of old batteries are gathered to be dumped. But surprisingly, 80% of the old batteries can be refurbished. This indeed reduces so much waste and, in return, helps preserve the environment.
Increase the battery life
The process involved in the battery refurbishment business includes restoring the electrodes to help the battery to recover its total capacity. This is possible after electrochemical treatment of the sulfation.
For a battery refurbishment business, the owner needs the following documents and licenses -
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business Plan
- Employment Offer
- Insurance Policy
- Business License and Permit
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- EPR Authorisation
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
EPR Authorisation registration process
To obtain the EPR authorisation, the owner of the battery refurbishment business must follow the steps mentioned below –
- Apply Form 2(A) to the SPCB for one-time registration.
- The primary documents required to obtain an EPR Authorisation for e-waste management are as follows:
- GST Certificate
- EPR plan specifying the required details
- Copy of permission from the concerned Department/Ministry for selling the product
- Copies of agreement with collection centres
- Sole proprietor or Authorised Signatory KYC
- Excel sheet including details of imported products
- Memorandum of Association (MOA)
- Copies of agreement with dealers
- Copies of agreement with recyclers/dismantlers
- Copies of the agreement with Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)
- Certification of Incorporation (CIN)
- Company’s PAN card
- Copy of DGFT permission/license (IEC certificate)
- Self-declarations on ROHS
- Copy of agreement with PRO (if applicable)
- Upon proper inspection of the submitted application and the attached documents, EPR authorisation is granted.
The detailed process involved in the battery refurbishment business
The battery capacity decreases because of the sulfate crystals collected on the electrodes over a period of time. This prevents the battery from delivering the current effectively. However, the process of sulfation build-up can’t be avoided. Worse yet, the process substantially accelerates after 3-4 years.
- The battery refurbishment process can proceed when all connections have been checked thoroughly and the surface has been treated.
- Also, before the battery desulfation process, it is imperative to ensure that the battery, its connections and the box are free of defects. Neutralising the battery surface is also vital to boost performance. An untreated battery surface can lead to current leaks, negatively impacting the battery life.
- So, the battery refurbishment starts with testing to determine whether the battery is fit for reconditioning or not.
- If the battery is found to be fit, a particular mixture of chemicals is added to boost the dissolving of the in-built acid crystals on the lead plates within the battery.
- After the crystals are dissolved completely, the battery is set for a normal recharging process.
- This helps in increasing the specific gravity of the electrolyte and battery capacity. Furthermore, it increases the cell voltage and ultimately reduces internal resistance.
- Upon completion of the battery refurbishment process, its condition is reanalysed. All cells are checked and the improvements are processed. Replacements (if any) are done. Reports on the BMS system and the battery condition are generated to comprehend the exact condition of the battery.
- After subsequent testing, the battery is ready for delivery to be put back into use.
But to carry out this entire process, you need to establish your battery refurbishment process, which includes the following steps -
The first and foremost step in running a battery refurbishment business legally without hassles is to register it. Check with the concerned authorities and register your business accordingly.
Obtain necessary licenses and permits
Contact the specific authorities to know about the licenses and permits mandated to run your business. You can also seek help from a professional for the same.
Market analysis of the battery refurbishment business
As per the research analysts, it is estimated that the global market for battery refurbishment services will witness a steady increase in its CAGR of about 11 per cent between 2016 and 2024. Thus, this will increase the market value from $7.1 billion to nearly $20 billion by the end of the forecast period. This sets a huge platform for the battery refurbishment business to grow.
Basic tools required for the battery refurbishment process
- Battery charger
- Different sets of screwdrivers
- Set of drills
- Load testers
- Battery additives
- Funnels and buckets
- Battery analysers
- Cleaning tools
How can Enterclimate help you?
Help in filing annual returns
We at Enterclimate provide full-time assistance in filing annual returnsrelated to your battery refurbishment business.
Deal with the documentation
Our team of experts has ten years of experience working with the authorities to handle all document-related requirements.
Legal support throughout the process
We offer comprehensive legal support in anything and everything related to your business.