Battery Fires Getting More Common with the Device Recycling Process


Battery explodes when a battery (mostly lithium ion) was being over charged and expanded. If the cover cannot take the pressure, it will release the battery's energy making an explosion. / Photo by: Mpt-matthew via Wikimedia Commons


Not many people may know this, but as years go by and the small percent of gadgets we throw out for better ones, are actually being repurposed for better raw materials for future products. Gadget recycling has always been a thing, and actually one of the more important processes in the world to prevent a pile of wasted electronics from sprouting everywhere.

Take one in an article posted by The Journal Gazette, Isauro Flores-Hernandez, one of the dedicated people that work on your old gadgets and repurposes them for future usage. He has to use a substantial amount of protection like thick gloves, metal tongs, and even a fireproof bin because a lot of times, batteries have a habit of bursting into flame the moment they open them up for the purpose of recycling.

He works at the Cascade Asset Management, and his desk is littered with different parts from Apple products and burn marks from random explosions and burns ever since 2016. This problem was such a big issue at one point that they had to evacuate the area because of the danger of fire.

All over the world, garbage disposal units and facilities that are dedicated to recycling them are going up in fire. The reason for this is because of volatile lithium-ion batteries that are the go-to option for top brands like Apple and Samsung. Not only are they a hazard to the people around them, but they are also quite difficult to take apart, making the overall labor and time consumed to recycle them makes them less profitable than what they would have liked, leading this to one of the recycling epidemics that plague the world at the current time.

Lithium-ion batteries are standard for most of the gadgets we use today for their thin design and their efficient charging capabilities. The downside to this is the fact that they are difficult to break down, volatile when obsolete and are a general problem after being used by the consumer for an extended period of time.

At the end of the day, we have to take these devices into consideration and find a better solution to the rising issue of gadget waste that happens all over the world.