Portable battery or accumulator within the meaning of the European Battery Directive 2006/66/EC means any battery, button cell, battery pack or accumulator that:
- is sealed and
- can be hand-carried and
- is neither an industrial battery or accumulator nor an automotive battery or accumulator.
In transposing the Battery Directive into national law, some EU Member States have implemented additional definitions for portable batteries (e.g. the weight). Batteries used in smartphones, laptops, notebooks, tablets, toys, household equipment, lamps, consumer electronics etc. are usually portable batteries.
An industrial battery or accumulator within the meaning of the European Battery Directive 2006/66/EC is any battery or accumulator designed for exclusively industrial or professional use or used in any type of electric vehicle.
An automotive battery or accumulator within the meaning of the European Battery Directive 2006/66/EC is any battery or accumulator used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power. These are generally lead batteries used in vehicles.
For a high quality battery recycling their separate collection from other waste is essential. Batteries installed in electrical appliances must be removed before further treatment. Then, the batteries are sorted into the following different types:
- Lead-acid batteries
- Lead batteries
- Lithium batteries
- NiCd batteries
- NiMh batteries
- Button cells
- Alkaline manganese batteries / zinc-carbon batteries
Some battery types have to be discharged before feeding into the recycling process. The battery treatment usually consists of processes such as crushing and separation into metals, electrolytes, plastics, and other materials.