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Energizer will begin selling AA batteries made partially from old recycled batteries, a small step towards decreasing the environmental impact of powering our gadgets. The batteries, called EcoAdvanced, will be the first from a major brand to contain recycled battery material—about 4%. And over their lifespan they’ll contribute to 7% fewer greenhouse emissions than other disposable batteries, according to Energizer. They’ll cost about $5 for a 4 -pack, some 25% more than traditional high-performance batteries.
The waste industry has long treated used alkaline batteries like junk, because the material in them wasn’t worth the effort to harvest. Unlike the rechargeable batteries in phones, common AA batteries have been safe to throw away since they stopped being made with toxic mercury about 20 years ago. Energizer spent seven years researching how to reuse spent materials like zinc and manganese in alkaline batteries in a way that still performed well, said the company’s chief marketing officer, Michelle Atkinson.
IEC has published a new standard 60086-4:2014 on safety of primary lithium batteries. It replaces the third edition published in 2007. This standard specifies tests and requirements for primary lithium batteries to ensure their safe operation under intended use and reasonably foreseeable misuse. This edition constitutes a technical revision. This edition includes the following significant technical changes with respect to the previous edition:
The proportion of lead acid batteries that is being used to meet waste portable battery recycling targets appears to be on the decline, figures published by the Environment Agency last week indicate. However, the UK still appears to be meeting its statutory EU battery recycling target with a disproportionate volume of lead acid batteries according to the data, which covers the first quarter of 2014.
Some industry sources have claimed that the UK was ‘going backwards’ in its progress toward meeting the target, as the collection rate for lead acid batteries was far higher than the overall proportion of new batteries being placed onto the market. With, a large proportion of the target being met through lead acid collections, many of which are not obligated to meet the recycling target – the volume of nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) and ‘other’ batteries, which make up the vast majority of new batteries placed onto the market, had actually seen a decline.
Three large global companies–Bosch, GS Yuasa, and Mitsubishi–have announced a joint venture to improve development of the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles. The group’s aim is to double energy capacity, helping electric cars become truly mass-market in the next decade. Today, electric cars are still held back by existing battery technology to some extent. In reality, that’s sufficient for the majority of journeys for most drivers, but it’s still perceived as a limitation by those used to the longer range of a fully-fueled gasoline vehicle.
Proposals to address a discrepancy in the definition of ‘portable’ batteries, which is said to be causing a disproportionate amount of the UK’s battery recycling obligation to be met by lead acid batteries, were published yesterday (August 14) by the government. And, the government has also highlighted the need for collections of other chemistries of waste battery to ‘significantly increase’ if the UK is to meet its mandatory EU battery recycling targets, while acknowledging that the cost of doing so may increase for some producers.
The European Association of Advanced Rechargeable and Lithium Batteries
168 av. De Tervueren, box 3
B-1150 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. + 32 2 777 05 60
Fax + 32 2 777 05 65