• Are Batteries Recyclable?

Biofuel Industry News

Are Batteries Recyclable?

Oct 29 2022

Batteries have stepped up as an exciting alternative to fossil fuels. Today’s high-performance batteries don’t just power smartphones and laptops. They’re being used for a myriad of industrial applications, from EVs and passenger jets to solar farms.  

But can they be recycled? Absolutely. Recycle Now™, a national campaign run by the British government, has an entire page dedicated to battery recycling. They offer information on recycling batteries at home for collection by local authorities or dropping them off at dedicated collection points. Batteries listed include:

  • Common household batteries such as AA and AAA
  • Larger battery packs from mobile phones, laptops, tablets and power tools
  • EV batteries and other larger systems

How batteries are recycled

Sorting is an important step of the battery recycling process. This is because the underlying goal of battery recycling is to recover raw materials that can be reused for other applications. For this reason, it’s important to separate batteries into different chemistry types. For example, lithium ion, nickel cadmium, lead and zinc batteries should be separated. This makes it easier to recover raw materials and minimise the risk of contamination.

Raw materials can be used to make new batteries, as well as other products. For example, gypsum recovered from lead acid batteries is used to make washing detergent and plasterboard filler. Steel from nickel cadmium is used for metal manufacturing and cobalt from lithium ion batteries is used by the electronics and paint industries.

Recycling batteries to support charities

Cancer Research UK is one of several charities encouraging Brits to recycle their batteries. Every year, the charity reveals around 20,000 tonnes of old household batteries are sent to landfill. As well as being an environmental burden, this is an incredible waste of resources. Instead, British recycling group Ecosurety collects donated batteries from Cancer Research UK shops. They recycle them safely and make a donation to the cause.

Recycling: a global initiative

Without a doubt, battery recycling has an important role to play as the world takes steps to address issues like climate change, air pollution and the landfill crisis. Other recycling initiatives will also step up. This includes novel alternative energy technologies like CO2-recycled fuels. Find out more about this exciting new frontier from Dr. Raj Shah, Nikhil Pai and Nathan Aragon.

A new generation of ‘smart’ batteries

The best batteries aren’t just recyclable. They’re equipped with ‘smart’ technology to actively communicate with users and external hardware. Find out more about this new generation of battery in our complete guide, ‘What Are Smart Battery Cells? Definition, Applications & Advantages’.

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