Formerly, the lead scrap had been processed mainly in reverberatory and shaft furnaces or, even, in rotary furnaces (R.F.). The direct smelting of battery scrap entrains an expensive pollution control and high operating costs because of slag recirculation, coke consumption, losses in slag and matte. Nowadays, mechanized battery wrecking plants allow selective separation of casings and separators from metallic Pb (grids, poles, solders) as well as lead in non-metallic form (PbSO/sub 4/, PbO, PbO/sub 2/, contaminated with some Sb) frequently called paste. Because of their high performance and flexibility in metallurgical processing (melting, reducing, oxidizing and selective pouring) the R.F. supersedes the reverberatory furnace worldwide.