Lithium Batteries

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:41 AM

The lithium-ion battery has become the ideal source of power for current technology. Our cellphones and laptops run on them. The development of lithium-ion batteries has allowed new technology to run at higher density capacities, compared the nickle-cadmium battery. And has a reduced chance of self-discharge (about half the chance of nickle-cadmium batteries) thereby, lowering the chance of these batteries ruining our new technology. But the problem with lithium-ion batteries is the short life span. They normally last from 2 to 3 years (and will age even if they are not in use). So even if we do keep our "old" technology, our battery will need to be replaced often. I have personally had to change my battery for my laptop 3 times in the 5 years of owning it.

normal.img-000.jpgThe short life span of lithium-ion batteries and the high disposal rate of technology has caused a large amount to accumulate in landfills. A study was done on the possible harmful effects that lithium-ion batteries could cause through leaching. They found that because of the lead, lithium-ion batteries are considered hazardous. Depending on the regulations of the state, other material that leach from the batteries are also classified as hazardous. In California, the levels of copper, cobalt, and nickel are above the threshold for regulations. These elements are known to be toxic to humans as well as the ecosystem. Leaching into the soil harms future crops and the animals that come in contact with them.

The increasing production of new technology may only get worse as we develop more and consumers purchase more. But if we commit to reuse our old tech and recycle parts that we no longer can use (such as lithium-ion batteries), we can reduce and possibly eliminate a good amount of waste and the toxins that come from the technology.


http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/is_lithium_ion_the_ideal_battery
http://pubs.acs.org.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/doi/pdf/10.1021/es400614y

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