Why you cannot just throw away a battery
Hello, my friend. Today I will tell you about consumer batteries that we use in our everyday life. In the beginning of the article, I would like to tell you, why you cannot just throw a battery in a garbage bin. Perhaps, you already heard about it, I just want to give you some more information.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 50 percent of all contamination material of domestic household waste was owed by consumer batteries which contain mercury, cadmium, magnesium, lead, tin metal, nickel, zinc.
So, if you just throw a battery to a bin, all of these hazardous substances end up in the city dump. Unfortunately, city dumps don’t have special filtering system from contaminants and heavy metals. It means that all hazardous substances get to groundwater aquifers.
Just think about it, all of these contaminants can be consumed by you. Meanwhile, even the small amount of these substances can cause serious harm to your body. For example, cadmium can actually cause cancer.
That’s why, my friend, you should think twice before just dumping batteries.
Scope of application and types of consumer batteries
There are many types of consumer batteries used depending on the application. Each battery type has unique properties, which require unique safety measures and recycling processes. You can find a short review of the most common types sorted by size in the table below.
|Type of batteries||Size||Capacity (mAH)||Application|
There are rechargeable and non-rechargeable types, specified on the battery
|½AA||850-1200||Used in small electronics, pulse oximeters, some computer models as the CMOS battery. Also used in US military MILES gear and DAGR.|
|AAAA||625||Used in pen flashlights, laser pointers, powered styluses, calculators, fishing lures, or electronic glucose meters.|
|AAA||800-1200||Used in small electronic devices, such as TV remote controls, MP3 players and digital cameras.|
|AA||600-3000||Most common type, widely used in portable electronic devices.|
|A||Used in older laptop batteries and hobby battery packs.|
|B||8350 (alkaline)||Mostly used for military purpose|
|C||4500-8000||Used in medium-drain applications such as toys and musical instruments.|
|Sub-C||1200-5000||Commonly used for building and rebuilding drill packs and radio controlled battery packs.|
|D||2000-12000||Used in high current drain applications, such as in large flashlights, radio receivers and transmitters, boomboxes, products with electric motors, safety systems, Geiger counters, megaphones.|
|4.5-volt||1200-6100||Used primarily in flashlights or lanterns/|
|9-volt or E||120-580||Used in walkie talkies, clocks and smoke detectors.|
|6-volt Lantern (Spring)||10500-26000||Used primarily in spring terminals.|
|Lantern (Screw)||10500-26000||Used in locations susceptible to high vibration/shock|
|Lantern (Big)||22000-52000||Used in locations susceptible to high vibration/shock|
|J||625||Used in such devices as a blood glucose meter or blood pressure cuff.|
|CR123A||700-1500||Used in flashlights.|
|CR2||600-800||Used in flashlights.|
|2CR5||1500||Used in cameras and photographic equipment.|
|CR-P2||1500||Used in cameras and flashlights.|
|CR927||30||Used extensively in blinkies, some LEGO toys.|
|CR1025||30||Used in watches, computers, calculators, IC cards, electric keys and other electric products.|
|CR1220||35-40||Used in keychain LED flashlights, sometimes in electronic tea lights|
|CR1225||50||Used in watches, computers, calculators, and other electric products.|
|Cylindrical lithium-ion |
|10180||90||Used in tiny flashlights|
|14430||400||Used in solar garden lights, rechargeable shavers|
|10440||340||Used in small electronic devices, such as TV remote controls, MP3 players and digital cameras.|
|18650||1500-3500||Used in many laptop computer batteries, the Tesla Model S, electronic cigarettes and LED flashlights.|
|18350||700-1200||Widely used in e-cigarettes|
Battery replacement time and how to determine if it has charge left
A lifespan of any battery is limited due to several reasons. The main reasons are limited lifespan of internal physical and chemical reaction, and damage of active components they are made of. A battery service life depends on its type. The shelf life of zinc-carbon batteries does not exceed 3 years, after that only 60-70% of charge remains. Alkaline batteries can be stored up to 5 years. Lithium-ion batteries have the longest keeping time and can be stored up to 10-12 years.
So, in order to be sure that you used all the charge of a battery, you need to know how to check if it has charge left. There is one very simple operation you have to do. All you need is to drop a battery and look how it bounces. A good battery bounces just a little. If you drop a dead battery it bounces significantly higher that a good one, as you can see on this video:
The reason lies in battery’s electrolyte, the dead battery’s electrolyte is dense, so the whole battery is harder. That is why you can see that it bounces quite high.
How to use a battery charger properly
Now when you know that there are rechargeable and no-rechargeable batteries, you can choose what type works better for you. We would like to share some tips with you regarding proper use of a charger.
#1 Get an appropriate charger
The first rule you should know is never use inappropriate charger for batteries, because it can lead to the battery or charger damage. Most often, rechargeable batteries are charged in an A/C adapter, which you can plug into a basic home outlet. This charger should be compatible with the size of your battery (from AAA to D).
#2 Use only the appropriate batteries in the charger.
The same rule works vice versa. Some batteries were not produced to be charged in a charger, so don’t try to charge them in such devices, it can lead to exposure of the battery, and leak of the hazardous substance.
#3 Mind the indicators on a charger
Most of the chargers have indicators on its housing. Power indicator lights should come on automatically when you plug them, also other indicator lights let you know when charging is finished. Be careful, don’t overcharge you batteries and don’t leave the charger on for a long time.
#4 Insert batteries properly
Put the positive (+) ends into contact with the charger’s positive terminals and likewise with the negative (-) ends. This is very important because improper installation can be a reason of the damage.
Watch more about battery recondition business in the video:How to make money on reconditioning almost any batteries
How to recondition a battery
You already know that some batteries can be charged in a special charger, and other batteries don’t have this option. But there is also a room for some lifehacks. Here, I’d like to tell you how to easily recondition a non-rechargeable battery
– Awl or sharp nail;
– Distilled water;
– Clay or resin.
Before starting reconditioning, you need to know that not every item is suitable for it. The voltage level of a battery should not be lower the significant value, (for AA battery of 1.5 V, this value is 0.7-0.8 V).
So, just follow the instructions:
Use an awl to make two holes along the central rode in the middle of the battery. The hole depth should not exceed ¾ of the battery length.
Using a syringe, inject few drops of water (preferably distilled) through one of the holes. The second opening is needed to let the air out. As soon as you see the water in the second hole, remove the syringe. After “refueling” the battery, seal the hole with clay or hot resin.
From this moment you can continue using the battery.
If this option didn’t work for you, consider the other way (requires alkaline acid).
Take an awl and remove the back of the battery. Remove the metallic rod.
Using a syringe, put few drops of alkaline acid into the battery cavity and then insert the rod immediately.
Heat the battery for a minute, then cool it down fast, then warm it again a bit.
From now on, you can continue using your reconditioned battery.
Kit for reconditioning a consumer battery
- Awl or sharp nail;
- Distilled water;
- Clay or resin.
Tips for using batteries, how to contaminate the environment less
Every person should try to preserve our planet and contribute to the work of environmental organizations. We prepared some tips for you which can help to contaminate the environment less using batteries.
- Use rechargeable batteries: it is better for your wallet and the environment.
- Buy batteries labeled “mercury-free” and “without cadmium.”
- Never dispose batteries with other trash! Use special containers in collection stations.
- Contact a local environmental organization to install a container for used batteries in your work or university.
Follow the following easy rules to extend the life of batteries:
• Always insert a battery in the device correctly “terminal-to-terminal”;
• Do not use batteries of different manufacturers in a device;
• Do not keep the batteries under the direct sunlight.
Remember, we have only one planet to live in! Please, be reasonable!
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