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ERIC Number: EJ913221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Batteries, from Cradle to Grave
Smith, Michael J.; Gray, Fiona M.
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n2 p162-167 Feb 2010
As battery producers and vendors, legislators, and the consumer population become aware of the consequences of inappropriate disposal of batteries to landfill sites instead of responsible chemical neutralization and reuse, the topic of battery recycling has begun to appear on the environmental agenda. In the United Kingdom, estimates of annual consumption are close to 300 million units and the domestic waste stream load is about 30000 tons. The end-of-life treatment that batteries receive in European Union member states, North America, and Asia differs significantly, and the percentage of household cells recycled ranges from almost zero to about 60% of annual sales. With current estimates of global "per capital", "per annum" battery consumption of 330 g, even the best-case figure leaves a massive residue of untreated battery waste to enter municipal landfill sites. In this article, battery recycling as an introduction to a problem-based learning activity is developed, and the key concepts useful to instructors adopting this approach are presented. The key legislation is identified, collection strategies are described, methods of battery sorting and processing are outlined, and sources of information for battery recycling are provided. Supplementary documentation is provided in the form of template study topics for student research. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; European Union; North America; United Kingdom