Cell Recycling at a Mobile Battery Company
This is a brief exploration of some of the current challenges mobile phone manufacturers face when producing new batteries for their devices. One of the first issues arises with the availability of large quantities of cell recycling, which could have been used for manufacturing new battery cells. This practice was rampant in the past and is no longer allowed in the United States or Europe.
It’s now a requirement that all mobile phone batteries are broken down and recycled at a recycling facility instead of having them purchased directly from the manufacturer. Cell recycling is not to be confused with cell refurbishing, which is the reverse.
Although the latest generation of mobile battery for smartphones has relatively high energy density, they require their own specialized cathode, anodes, and separators. Anodes are the chemicals that allow the electricity to flow when the battery discharges. The separator prevents electrolyte build up.
Cell recycling would have been quite advantageous to battery manufacturers in the past. They could have stored their high energy-density mobile batteries in the upcoming recycling facility until needed. Then when they could no longer afford to refurbish the batteries, they could simply sell them. The unprofitable batteries would have been returned to the suppliers.
A relatively small amount of surplus mobile battery manufacturers use this method now. The recyclers have proven themselves to be extremely reliable and efficient when producing, storing, and disposing of high energy-density batteries. The amount of excess batteries that have to be discarded is negligible. This method works.
It is estimated that new battery cell recycling will double over the next few years. It’s expected that this will occur because production will increase and recycling facilities will be available in huge numbers. However, there is a potential for the increase in production to slow when the potential profit margin for making these mobile batteries is seen.
Some mobile phone battery manufacturers are also seeing the potential of this industry and are experimenting with innovative mobile phone battery designs. This type of new cell recycling is a great way to compete with the mobile battery manufacturing industry.
One mobile battery cell may be enough to power an average cell phone but it will not be sufficient to make a phone completely. It takes multiple batteries to have an average phone. Any cell phone that contains all the major components (including a memory chip) will take more batteries than an average phone.
It’s likely that cell recycling will begin in cell phone batteries. As new technology emerges in the mobile phone market, all sorts of new mobile phone batteries will appear. The problems that are beginning to arise will only have arisen when there was a surplus of batteries and recycling facilities.
Other new methods of making mobile phone batteries include electrochemical conversion, mica, and piezoelectric materials. These processes are also necessary if more energy-dense batteries are to be made. These new mobile battery methods will help to reduce some of the risk that was inherent in the manufacturing of the mobile battery products that were earlier produced in large numbers.
The need for these new mobile battery products is an excellent indication of the importance of recycling in this field. If recycling continues, it is expected that the amount of waste produced by the mobile battery industry will decline and eventually begin to diminish.