Batteries International — Autumn, Issue 117

Page 48

COVER STORY: THE TROUBLE WITH LITHIUM — RECYCLING

Charge, recharge but then charge again

Recycling lead acid batteries is relatively straightforward and cost effective; lithium batteries present different challenges, which even the technology’s most ardent proponents hope will be overcome soon. Frank Millard reports. The perfect battery? It’s not there yet, but it will be one day. That’s long been the history of most modern technologies. And many aspects of the development of the lithium battery — think about its huge price falls over the past decade and

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the new range of applications being found for it — are part of this classic, it’ll-all-be-right-in-the-end thinking. Yes, technology has solved much of the price issues around lithium batteries but there is still the blind belief that science will solve two of its out-

standing problems — safety and recyclability. Each issue has its own economic implications. In terms of safety, when things go wrong with lithium they can do so quite spectacularly. Samsung admitted

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