Dispose of Your 18650 Batteries in a Safe and Responsible Way
18650 batteries are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that offer high capacity, long life, and low self-discharge. They are widely used in laptops, flashlights, electric vehicles, and other devices that require high power.
However, these batteries also have a limited lifespan and can become defective or damaged over time. Therefore, it is essential to dispose of them in a safe and responsible way to prevent potential hazards and environmental impacts.
What Are the Risks of 18650 Batteries If They Are Not Treated or Stored Properly?
18650 batteries can cause fire, explosion, leakage, or environmental harm if they are not treated or stored properly. Some of the possible reasons for these risks are:
• Wrong Or Incompatible Charger:
Charging the battery with the wrong or incompatible charger can cause overcharging or undercharging, which can make the battery overheat, swell, or lose capacity.
• Physical Damage:
Dropping, puncturing, crushing, or short-circuiting the battery can damage its internal structure and cause it to ignite or explode.
• Extreme Temperatures:
Exposing the battery to very high or very low temperatures (above 60°C or below -20°C) can degrade its performance and safety.
• Internal Short Circuit:
A manufacturing defect or aging can cause an internal short circuit within the battery, leading to a rapid rise in temperature and pressure.
• Chemical Leakage:
A defective or degraded battery can leak its electrolyte solution, which is corrosive and toxic. This can harm the skin, eyes, and respiratory systems of humans and animals, as well as contaminate the soil and water.
How Can You Avoid 18650 Batteries From Getting Defective or Degraded?
To maintain the quality and performance of your 18650 batteries, you should follow some best practices for charging, discharging, and storing them safely. Use a compatible charger that matches the voltage and current rating of your battery.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging time and frequency. Avoid discharging your battery below its cut-off voltage (usually around 2.5V). This can damage its internal chemistry and reduce its capacity.
• Store your battery in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight, heat sources, flammable materials, and metal objects. Do not store your battery fully charged or fully discharged. Aim for a 40-60% charge level for long-term storage.
• Tape over the terminals (or connections) of your battery with non-conductive tape (such as electrical tape) or place it in a plastic bag to prevent accidental contact with other metals that could cause a short circuit.
How Can You Dispose of 18650 Batteries in a Safe and Eco-Friendly Way?
When your 18650 batteries reach the end of their useful life or become defective or damaged, you should not throw them away in the trash or mix them with other types of batteries. This can cause fires at landfills or recyclers, as well as pollute the environment with harmful chemicals. Instead, you should dispose of them in a safe and eco-friendly way by recycling or reusing them.
You can take your old or damaged 18650 batteries to a local collection point that accepts lithium-ion batteries for recycling. You can use this tool to find one near you. Recycling your batteries will help conserve natural resources by reducing.
The need for virgin materials and reducing the energy and pollution associated with making new products. Specialized battery recyclers will recover valuable materials from your batteries such as cobalt and lithium that can be used to make new batteries or other products.