The Truth About "Advanced" Disposable Batteries

If you've ever looked for batteries where they keep electronics, you've probably noticed the latest and greatest trend in disposable batteries: Disposable Lithium batteries. They’re usually advertised as being ideal for high drain electronic devices like digital cameras, CD players, game controllers, and the like. True, they are lighter in weight and higher in energy density. However, they cost anywhere from 2-3 times what you might pay for alkaline batteries, and will only deliver 2-3 times the performance under specific conditions. These truly are high energy batteries, so if you decide to use them outside of the factory recommendations and put one in your flashlight or remote control, you may damage those devices. More importantly, they contain lithium metal, which is highly volatile when exposed to moisture. So if one of these batteries is ruptured, it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens:

Most recycling facilities won’t accept these types of batteries either, so for the environmentally conscious consumer, it can be difficult to find a way to properly dispose of them. Consider rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries as an alternative. While they’re more expensive up front, they can be recharged hundreds of times, effectively making each one worth a hundred disposable lithium batteries, even considering the cost of the charger and the electricity to recharge them. That’s 1% of the cost of lithiums! And when they can’t hold a charge anymore, they can be recycled at most facilities. See our search tool to the right to find a recycling location near you.