Metal applications

Cadmium is a metal chemically similar to zinc. It is used mainly in Ni-Cd batteries, corrosion protection coatings or pigment. A new application appeared recently: Cd-Te solar cell.

Recycling of Ni-Cd batteries is efficient and allows to decrease the impact of harmful Cadmium on environment

Cadmium is an extremely toxic industrial and environmental pollutant classified as a human carcinogen Group 1 – according to International Agency for Research on Cancer; Group 2a – according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and 1B carcinogen classified by European Chemical Agency

EPA set the maximum contaminant level for cadmium in drinking water is 0.005 mg/L.


ELSA developed a process “MEDOX” to eliminate cadmium, lead and copper from incineration plant fumes and ash.

The process was using zinc as sacrificial metal to reduce cadmium, lead and copper from the solutions obtained after lixiviation of the fumes and ashes.

The zinc in solution was then recycled by electrolysis. 

Products (by elsa) and properties

The product after “MEDOX” treatment is a mixture of cadmium, lead and copper metals.

For large quantities, further separation treatments or selective cementation can be applied to recover pure metals.

Case studies

  • Incineration plant in Switzerland