The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of reductive acidic leaching and further precipitation on the recovery of manganese and zinc from spent alkaline and zinc-carbon battery powders. Ascorbic acid (AA), citric acid (CA) and oxalic acid (OA) were tested as the reductants. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide were used as precipitating agents. OA with H2SO4 or HCl was not effective on the leaching of zinc due to the formation of zinc oxalate precipitates. However, the other reducing agents (CA and AA) tested under various experimental conditions were effective in the acidic leaching of both zinc and manganese. Leaching yields of both manganese and zinc were higher at leach temperature of 90 degrees C than those at 30 degrees C. Leach solutions were purified by the selective precipitation of manganese and zinc using KOH or NaOH. Complete precipitation was obtained for Mn at pH 9-10 and for Zn at pH 7-8. The use of ascorbic acid or citric acid as reductants in acidic leaching appears to be effective in the simultaneous leaching and further recovery of zinc and manganese from spent alkaline and zinc-carbon battery powders. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.