What are recycled batteries turned into?

Battery recycling process

There are also secondary batteries better known as electric batteries, which are those that can be recharged externally and button cells, which are the round batteries used in some watches that contain high concentrations of mercury.

You should know that once your batteries run out, you should never throw them away! What you should do is to have a plastic can at home that you can use to collect used batteries. Once it is full, go to one of the battery depots in your city.

How to recycle used batteries at home

The degradation of batteries in household waste, or in natural environments, has as a consequence great impacts on the environment: We recommend you to read this other post on What is environmental impact.

To avoid battery pollution, batteries must be recycled. Once the batteries arrive at the recycling plant, there are different processes for doing so, but in general they are all based on the separation of the metals and the rest of the materials that make up the batteries. For example, in the recycling of an alkaline battery, which is one of the most commonly used, they are separated:We recommend you read this other article on How to recycle batteries and watch this video on the subject of battery recycling.

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Batteries can be reused

Batteries are generally composed of electrolytic cells containing two plates of dissimilar metals (cathode and anode) separated by an ionic solution (electron-conducting medium between the two plates).

These cells are housed in a metal or plastic container. To separate the active elements, they contain paper or cardboard, as well as lead or cadmium to improve their construction, or mercury to limit corrosion. The function of mercury in batteries is to store the impurities contained in the raw materials, which generate gases that can impair the operation and safety of the battery.

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Mercury is found in portable power tools, video cameras, cellular phones, security devices, emergency lighting, medical equipment. Also in satellites orbiting the Earth.

It is the newest technology incorporated by the battery industry. The recharging process is considerably more complicated than Ni-Cd or Ni-MH, and requires a much more expensive recharging system.

What to do with used batteries so that they do not pollute

It is very important for you to find out how to recycle alkaline or lithium batteries once they have been used, since they are highly polluting elements that are not usually recycled properly.

It is enough to take a moment to think about the great variety and quantity of objects that require the use of batteries, so that you can have an idea about the amount of batteries that are constantly used and that, usually, we tend to discard inadequately every day.

Opt for the use of renewable energies at home. Choose to purchase appliances that use energy with a lower degree of toxicity or pollution and even better, that require clean energy, for example, solar energy.

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Although this option does not make the content of the batteries non-polluting, it does make it possible to isolate the toxic elements found inside them, and at the same time it makes it possible to obtain solid construction tools.