National battery day falls annually, every February 18th. Quite obviously, the purpose of National Battery Day is to bring recognition to the humble battery. As well as to help others reflect on how different our lives would be now without them.
This brief article aims to shed light on the history of battery power, as well as to help raise awareness for correct battery disposal.
How does a battery work?
In short. A battery converts the chemical energy of its individual components into electricity by bringing them together in a specific order. When done correctly, electrons travel from one substance to another, thus forming a usable electrical current.
When was the first battery created?
This is something that we can debate extensively due to the amount of work and research that has been done on battery power over time. However, 1749 saw the first use of the term ‘battery’ by American Scientist, Bejamin Franklin. Even though his efforts and experiments were successful. It is common belief that the first true battery wasn’t perfected until 1800. This was done when Italian physicist Alessandro Volta combined a stack of Copper and Zinc discs, separated by a salt water soaked cloth.
Since then, the fascination, science and developments in battery power has been substantial. Where, unlike then, batteries are prevalent in a many sizes, shapes and voltages to suit its intended use.
What is the most popular type of battery?
Undoubtedly, the most common battery you will see nowadays is the lead-acid battery. Invented in 1859. They are perfect to help start and power many motor vehicles. These include petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powered cars. However, with the announcement that the Government will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by mid 2030. We predict that the battery as we know it now, will soon undergo an expansive redesign, to help with increasing the range and efficiency of the ‘new era’ eco car.
How can I correctly recycle my batteries?
The chemical elements of batteries can have devastating impacts on the environment. This is why we encourage you to recycle all of your batteries responsibly. Moreover the fact that car batteries in particular, by law, are not suitable for disposal within household waste. But have no fear. Recycling our batteries has never been easier. This is thanks to the increased presence of battery recycling boxes, which can often be found within many shops and supermarkets.
Battery deposit boxes are hugely convenient, and help us to safely and responsibly discard our old general household batteries. Although these are convenient. They are not suitable for large batteries like those found in motor vehicles, cordless power tools and other large items. Larger or higher-powered batteries like these are quite often accepted at your local recycling centre or garages. Who will then pass them on to specialist units that break down the batteries components for re-use.
Importantly, while handling old batteries it may be necessary to take precautions, in order to protect yourself from injury. This might involve the use of personal protective equipment like safety gloves or safety glasses. In addition to spill containment products, to clean up any acid spills.
How are batteries recycled?
The way in which we recycle batteries varies depending on the type. Lead-acid batteries are recycled by breaking down each component in hammer mills. This machine works by crushing the battery and dumping its pieces into a vat. While in the vat heavier pieces such as the lead sink to the bottom and lighter components like the plastics float to the top.
How do you properly store batteries?
There are many ways in which you can safely and securely store batteries. The reason why we advise the safe storage of new batteries is because in some areas they can pose some significant risks. Here are our top three battery storage tips:
- Store in a cool dry place, preferably in original packaging.
- Ensure batteries are kept in a non metallic unit. For security and to help keep batteries out of reach you could use a Small Plastic Hazardous Storage Cabinet.
- Ensure the batteries poles are all in the same direction, to avoid short circuiting.
Charge and store battery operated items
As a direct result of the high value and volume of electrical items we use. We offer a selection of secure charging lockers and personal effects charging lockers. To help you, your customers and colleagues keep their valuables safe and secure while on charge.
So, to help celebrate National Battery Day we’re asking you to give consideration to all the items you see and use on a daily basis which rely on battery power. These include our watches, phones, cars, laptops, smoke alarms, wheel chairs and much more. You can also use this occasion as an opportunity to test our appliances battery performance, as well as to replace or recycle any old cells where necessary.