Millions of batteries are used every day which are discarded after use. Batteries provide us with energy wherever we need it, regardless of the distribution network. The need for batteries is growing daily, with the development of technology and the growth of production of high-tech products, this phenomenon is a normal follow-up to the need. As the number of batteries increases, so does the responsibility for the amount of batteries that are discarded.
Batteries contain substances that must not be released into the environment, and on the other hand the metals contained in them can be recycled indefinitely. By recycling the metals contained in the batteries, energy savings are achieved.
What would happen if, instead of disposing of batteries, the invention of rechargeable batteries was found?
A student at the University of California, Irvine came up with such an invention. This student discovered a rechargeable battery that can last up to 400 years. At first, the team that worked on these rechargeable batteries faced difficulties, as the wires broke. One of the students in the team made a change, so he replaced the liquid electrolyte that surrounds the nanowires with the one made of gel. That way, the batteries went through thousands of charge cycles with no signs of wear or cracking. So the scientists got gel capacitors that were resistant to cracking and wear. Their goal is to create durable rechargeable batteries for both laptops and phones, thus reducing the number of these electrical devices in landfills.
How does all this work?
Scientists can not explain the exact reason why the gel prevents the nanowires from breaking down less than other liquids, but they know that there is a difference in the functioning of different fluids and the effect on the nanowires. As one of the scientists explains, Penner says that the nanowires contain magnesium oxide, that they are 80% porous and that they are hundreds of times thinner than human hair. The gel acts with the same thickness as its application, so as the wires go through cycle after cycle, so the gel penetrates the pores in the wires. In this way, the gel acts on them by making them softer and less fragile, and consequently increases their lifespan. Scientists have found that the gel has the most effective effect on the nanowires, more than any other liquid.
Of course, the whole procedure will be subject to more tests and experiments.
Why are lithium-ion batteries a danger to the human environment?
When we dispose of batteries together with municipal waste, they end up in landfills where the heavy metals they contain have the potential to be gradually filtered into soil and groundwater. Contaminated soil and water affect the quality and nutrition of animals, and thus food products that come from the soil such as milk, cheese, etc. Increased amounts of heavy metals also reach the human body where it causes certain health problems.
Therefore, these batteries are advances in technology and the use of rechargeable batteries will allow better utilization, less waste of harmful chemicals in the soil and will provide a better and healthier environment for all.