How Do Batteries Affect the Environment?
Most of the electronic appliances, automobiles and industrial machines run on battery these days, and hence their disposal is a prominent issue pertaining to the environmental damage. Therefore, effective battery recycling techniques should be adopted to lessen its effect on the environment.
There has been a significant growth in the Electronic Waste(E-waste) in the recent years due to the increasing population. Hence, people have surpassed their needs and demands depending on their income and standard of living which enables them to purchase various technologically advancing gadgets at frequent intervals. These gadgets are disposed off later to further buy new ones, and hence the harmful batteries in them when disposed are subjected to the process of decay which is detrimental to the overall environment. Batteries these days are used in almost all appliances and hence it is extremely imperative that we efficiently utilize, recycle the batteries, and save the environment from potential hazards. According to report conducted by Research Dive, the global battery recycling market is estimated to generate a revenue of $20,407.7 million in 2021-2028 timeframe, growing at a CAGR of 9.3%.
What Exactly is Battery Recycling?
It is defined as the process of reutilizing and reprocessing the used batteries collected from disposed garbage in order to lessen the environmental damage and make good use of it. Some of the batteries that are usually recycled are nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn), nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH), lithium-ion (Li-ion), lead acetate batteries, and so on. Lead acetate batteries are widely used in car batteries, motorcycle batteries, industrial vehicle batteries, and so on therefore they require proper recycling.
What Do we Need to Recycle the Batteries?
Batteries contain a variety of toxic chemicals and metals that are exceedingly detrimental to the environment like lead, mercury, lithium and cadmium to name a few. Hence, their disposal leads to large-scale contamination of soil that endangers the soil quality of the particular area for a long time. Moreover, disposal of these highly toxic batteries also leads to groundwater and surface water contamination which further raises environmental concerns over the degraded water quality. Thus, recycling of batteries is of vital importance. Batteries are also recycled to extract or make good use the valuable high grade metals present in the batteries such as copper and aluminum. Certain rare earth metals are also present on the batteries like cobalt and nickel which again can be recycled and used for various other purposes. Therefore, recycling helps us to conserve the natural raw materials like these metals which further decrease the mining activities that are done to extract such metals. When batteries are recycled, there is a consequent decrease in the amount of solid waste, and hence the number of wastes disposed on the landfills would substantially reduce thus decreasing the overall quantity of Electronic Waste (E-Waste). Furthermore, recycling creates enormous job opportunities for individuals in various recycling plants around the world.
Impact of COVID-19 on Battery Recycling Industry
The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted millions of people around the globe. It caused large-scale disruption in the flow and operations of various industries due to the nation-wide lockdown that were prevalent for a long period of time. The pandemic caused irregular production and distribution of materials in the industries which resulted in the downfall of most business operations. Hence, battery recycling industry also experienced a substantial downfall due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Pandemic caused global financial crisis, unemployment and other major problems in many countries which resulted in a subsequent downfall in their GDP. This led to a serious decline in the demand for electronic gadgets, electronic vehicles, industrial machines, motorcycles, and so on. But the growth is estimated to recover once the pandemic is eased off, as government of various nations are taking initiatives for the adoption of e-charging facility upgrades and electric-powered automobiles among the people including electric-powered car, motorbike, bus, trucks, and so on.
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