As SIMPOWER point out, lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 97 percent of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminium soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.
The lead-acid battery gains its environmental edge from its closed-loop life cycle. The typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic. When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer. The recycling cycle goes on indefinitely.
That means the lead and plastic in the lead-acid battery in your car, truck, boat or motorcycle have been – and will continue to be — recycled many, many times. This makes lead-acid battery disposal extremely successful from both environmental and cost perspectives.
Mercury is used in batteries for hearing aids, pacemakers, photographic equipment, and zinc air is an alternative to mercury button cells – used for hearing aids and radio pagers. Silver is oxide used for electronic watches and calculators, and lithium is used for watches and photographic equipment.
General purpose rechargeable batteries are for the above uses, and also include Nickel cadmium, Nickel metal hydride and Lithium-Ion batteries, used in power tools, cordless appliances, mobile phones etc.
Lithium-Ion batteries represent one of the fastest growing sectors in the battery market, being used for cordless power tools, personal stereos, portable telephones, lap-top computers, shavers, motorised toys etc.
Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries have a greater energy storage capacity than NiCad and and NiMH batteries. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are a less environmentally harmful alternative to NiCad and tend to have a longer cycle life depending on the application.
Finally, SIMPOWER say using rechargeable batteries reduces the number of batteries requiring disposal, but all batteries need to be disposed of safely and responsibly, and for more information on security batteries, lithium batteries and digital camera batteries please go to https://www.simpower.co.nz .