Old Laptop Batteries to Help Light 3rd World
We love this concept and are encouraged to learn that a priority has been placed on protecting against the well documented potential fire hazards posed by Li Ion batteries.
IBM, a multinational technology company, has conducted research into reusing old laptop batteries to provide sustainable energy to developing countries.
UrJar, a back-up power device that reuses batteries from discarded computers, could be used to aid the approximately 400 million people in India who live without a reliable electricity supply.
Developed by India-based researchers at IBM, UrJar addresses the issues of battery e-waste and energy poverty in developing countries by extracting lithium-ion from old laptops, the element that powers rechargeable batteries.
About 50 million deteriorated lithium-ion laptop batteries are discarded each year in the U.S., which is essentially the same as saying hours upon hours of lighting for impoverished areas of India are being thrown away. Thanks to an innovation from researchers at IBM, old laptop batteries can be reused to build battery packs that can power lighting for homes and street carts in India that do not have reliable electricity supplies.
According to IBM Research India, at least 70 percent of discarded laptop batteries have enough juice to make them viable candidates for reuse. Since laptop batteries comprise multiple cells, when a laptop battery is deemed “dead,” it doesn’t mean all the cells in the battery are useless.
There’s still some necessary refinement left before UrJar is ready, but IBM is quick to stress that this isn’t a commercial product. Instead, it hopes to give devices away for free in countries whose “energy poverty” hurts the quality of life (and chances of a better future) for poorer residents.