“A look at batteries”
First off, lets clear up a misconception I have heard some fellows talking about.
Batteries only provide energy that has been stored in them such as a rechargeable battery. Single use batteries provide energy that comes from the chemical action taking place inside a battery cell using acids and heavy metals.
There are two types of batteries, rechargeable, and single-use. The most common single-use batteries are N, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and purposed specified types.
Dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. All contain toxic substances, heavy metals etc.
#1 Single use batteries that are familiar
Rechargeable batteries only differ in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium. Rechargeable batteries are available in the same sizes as the single use types.
The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills.
California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled, if they are not taken to a recycling center you are in violation of the law, and we know where that can lead. (how they are stored)
If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.
All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy or drain for no reason You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old, ruptured battery.
#2 Ruptured battery cells
When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or device, you may think that it is dead at that point.
What really happens is the chemicals and chemical action inside the battery deplete, no longer providing the stored energy in the cell. Thus pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks or ruptures.….this is why old dead batteries leak.
The paste or liquid that leaks out in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery that has been thrown in the trash that ends up in a landfill.
All batteries eventually rupture, its inevitable. This applies to rechargeable batteries also, they just take longer to end up in the landfill.
#3 Rechargable’s leak also
In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle single-use ones properly.
Moving on to EV batteries
How to recycle the millions of electric vehicle (EV) batteries that manufacturers expect to produce over the next few decades…..good question!
Current EV batteries “are really not designed to be recycled,” says Dr. Thompson, a research fellow at the Faraday Institution, a research center focused on battery issues in the United Kingdom.
#4 EV battery banks
Dealing with exhausted batteries wasn’t much of a problem when EVs were rare. But now the technology is taking off.
Several carmakers have said they plan to phase out combustion engines within a few decades, and industry analysts predict at least 145 million EVs will be on the road by 2030, up from just 11 million last year. “People are starting to realize this is becoming an issue,”
Governments are inching toward requiring some level of recycling. The European Union is expected to finalize its first requirements on reusing battery components this year.
In the United States, the federal government has yet to advance recycling mandates, but several states, including California—the nation’s largest car market—are exploring setting their own standards (That should prove to be entertaining).
Complying won’t be easy. Batteries differ widely in chemistry and construction, which makes it difficult to create efficient standardized recycling systems. And the cells are often held together with tough glues that make them difficult to take apart.
That has contributed to an economic obstacle: It’s often cheaper for battery makers to buy freshly mined metals than to use recycled materials which are still not available.
This puts a whole different twist on the whole “Green New Deal” with all the embedded costs its going to take to mine and provide the components needed for these EV batteries.
Looking at an EV battery’s data
This is for a Tesla Model 3 vehicle.
Battery voltage: 350 nominal volts
Tesla disclosed in documents for its EPA certification, that the long range Model 3 battery pack has a total voltage of 350 volts and a capacity of 230Ah, which results in 80,500 Wh or 80.5 kWh.
Battery cells: Tesla cell #2170 measures 21-mm x 70-mm, is 3.7 volts, 21.8Wh.
Long range bank has 4,416 cells; 46 cells per brick; 2 modules of 25 bricks, with 2 modules of 23 bricks. This provides 80.5 kWh total.
Checking into the charging specifications for the Standard, Standard-Plus and the Long-range Super chargers consisted of enough data to make another Tek Net just on charging these batteries alone.
Wonder how many houses electrical infrastructure will be able to accommodate residential chargers. Maybe a bit rough on those with solar…
As we can all see that lonely little battery we have all taken for granted, is and will be more of a concern in the future.
The newer batteries are requiring more mandates/research on how we are going to be able to recycle or dispose of them safely in the future.
Checking into some of the battery recyclers has found that they are actually more of a storage facility for the newer EV batteries until they can really break them down and recycle the components with new technologies.
This is one reason that I see combustion engines not being eliminated in the near future.
How many folks have EV’s and have the batteries or the replacement of them been an issue for you?
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