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I am reconditioning a 12v lead acid battery, and a process I am trying requires me to remove aprox 2.5 to 3 oz of battery fluid from each cell. Before I do this, I'd like to know how to dispose of the removed fluid? Can I just neutralize it with baking soda?

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closed as off-topic by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, uint128_t, Daniel Grillo, Dave Tweed Apr 20 '16 at 16:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on the use of electronic devices are off-topic as this site is intended specifically for questions on electronics design." – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, uint128_t, Daniel Grillo, Dave Tweed
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE, did you follow the forum rules and do some research (googling) before you posted? \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Apr 18 '16 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d Where are you coming up with the rule you mention? electronics.stackexchange.com/tour \$\endgroup\$ – horta Apr 19 '16 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that both answers that you've gotten so far say to add small amounts of the acid to a large amount of water. That's extremely important. Don't ever add water to acid. \$\endgroup\$ – Pete Becker Apr 19 '16 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @horta fine, recommendations\rules, here they are: electronics.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask you ought to review them if you haven't. There are also recommendations to the right of the question box if you haven't see those either. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Apr 19 '16 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I did search for an answer. Everywhere I searched, I only found answers relating to disposing of the whole battery. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhmoonbay Apr 20 '16 at 10:03
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What you're removing is ~28% sulfuric acid. Dilute your 18 oz with a quart of water, you can then neutralize it with baking soda with little difficulty. Wear rubber gloves and goggles and add acid to water in small amounts while monitoring the temperature. Have separate bucket of water nearby for yourself in case you get acid on your skin.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Baking soda and vinegar are my staples for cleaning batteries and neutralizing electrolyte. Baking soda for lead-acid and vinegar for wet cell nickel-iron or nickel-cadmium, which use alkaline (base) electrolyte. \$\endgroup\$ – Harper Apr 18 '16 at 23:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can clean the surface of the battery with soda easily since you're dealing with small amount of acid. OP's amount/conc. would cause too much bubbling of the liquid being neutralized Search youtube for 'coca cola menthos' to get an idea of the phenomenon (you will be dealing with substance quite a bit stronger than a soft drink). \$\endgroup\$ – Oleg Mazurov Apr 19 '16 at 1:16
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Are you not planning on putting the acid back in the cells after you recondition them?

Or are you planning on replacing it with new electrolyte? Where are you getting the new replacement electrolyte? Does the source not have a recycling system?

Can you take the electrolyte fluid to a place that sells (and recycles) auto vehicle batteries? They are prepared to handle the material properly as they deal with it every day.

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One way that is relatively safe (because of the small amount of acid you need to get rid of), is to dilute it very very much. I've done it it the past and the possible dangers are low. REMEMBER TO USE RUBBER GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION.

Just add the acid gently to a very large amount of water (eg 5-10 liters of water). Then you can possibly dump it even in the sewer.

Note that I'm suggesting that only because you have a small amount of acid which is clearly not worth it to pay someone to dispose it "properly" for you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am replacing the electrolyte with a mixture of distilled water and magnesium sulfate. This is an alternate method of desulfating a otherwise bad battery. \$\endgroup\$ – Jhmoonbay Apr 20 '16 at 9:58

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