Which lead-acid battery or lithium-ion battery is more harmful to the environment?

Sep.26, 2020

Which lead-acid battery or lithium-ion battery is more harmful to the environment? Heavy metal pollution in the battery industry has attracted widespread attention from all walks of life. The battery industry is a key area of ​​heavy metal pollution. At present, there are many small companies in the battery industry, some of which are backward in technology and equipment, and lead pollution is serious. Lithium-ion batteries are greener than ordinary lead-acid batteries, have little environmental pollution, and have a long service life to prevent environmental pollution caused by ordinary battery replacement.

Which lead-acid battery or lithium-ion battery is more harmful to the environment?

The contribution of batteries to people is well known, and it is closely related to almost every one of us and all industries, but batteries are also very harmful to our environment. But in recent years, many environmentalists have condemned the great harm of lead-acid batteries to the environment, lead pollution and waste acid discharge.

When the battery is recycled, it is easy to cause pollution and easy to be contaminated. Therefore, the recycling of lithium-ion batteries will become more and more important in the next few years. Batteries are mainly lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries, etc. When buying, which one is better to choose between lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries?

At present, the most common batteries on the market are mainly lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries contain lead compounds, which will seriously pollute the environment once they leak. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and electrolyte solutions such as acids and alkalis, which are harmful to the human body and the ecological environment to varying degrees. Although cobalt in lithium ion batteries is polluted, it is generally active as a transition metal element and has little impact on the environment.

From the perspective of environmental protection, although lead-acid batteries have gradually begun to take the road of green production, we usually use lead-acid batteries once improper use will still cause environmental pollution. The production route of lithium-ion batteries has always advocated green and environmental protection, and is more environmentally friendly in terms of recycling and utilization. Therefore, from the perspective of environmental protection, lithium-ion batteries are truly environmentally friendly products.

The hazards of lead-acid batteries

When the battery is scrapped, waste sulfuric acid liquid is also discharged, which contains sulfuric acid, lead sulfate, etc. The solid waste contains lead, lead dioxide, lead sulfate, cadmium, arsenic, etc. About 100 million sulfuric acid batteries are currently in use throughout the country. Lead-acid batteries use sulfuric acid electrolyte to emit the "three wastes", which have become a source of environmental pollution that cannot be ignored, and sulfur dioxide pollution threatens human health.

Lead is an important raw material for the production of batteries. Senior officials of the World Health Organization believe that the greatest threat to children in the environment is lead. The blood lead content of children is greater than 100μg/L, which may cause harm to children. Lead can poison the brain and destroy the function of suppressing impulse. Some violence in society may be related to lead pollution.

Cadmium compounds are very toxic, and cadmium is an important raw material for the production of lead-acid batteries. Cadmium is contained in the charging and discharging of automobiles, the exhaust gas discharged, the discarded liquid waste, and the scrapped solid waste. Plants can absorb and accumulate cadmium in the soil, especially rice and wheat, which increase the cadmium content in crop products. For example, cadmium rice accumulates in the human body, and it can cause chronic cadmium poisoning over time.

The sulfuric acid waste liquid in the storage battery poured into the sewers and soil will seriously pollute the rivers, lakes and oceans, as well as the air, farmland and drinking water. The polluted topsoil with a high concentration of heavy metals is easy to enter the atmosphere and water bodies under the use of wind and hydraulic power, causing pollution of the atmosphere, surface water and groundwater.

Do lithium-ion batteries pollute the environment?

Lithium-ion batteries use lithium cobalt oxide, copper, aluminum, nickel, etc., so if they are discarded casually, they may still have a certain impact on the environment. There is also the electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries. The important components are dimethyl sulfate (DMC), diethyl carbonate (DEC), and ethylene carbonate (EC). Some organic waste gas volatilizes during the production process.

Lithium-ion batteries basically do not cause environmental pollution. First of all, lithium ion batteries use lithium metal or lithium alloy as electrode materials and use non-aqueous electrolyte solutions. The materials used are free of heavy metals and will not cause heavy metal pollution. Second, lithium ion batteries can be recharged more than 500 times and have a long service life. The frequency of battery replacement is greatly reduced, and the amount of solid waste is relatively reduced. Finally, the disposal of used lithium-ion batteries is easier, which also reduces the impact of lithium-ion batteries on the environment.

Generally speaking, lithium-ion batteries have little impact on the environment. Regardless of production, use and scrap, they do not contain or appear any toxic and harmful heavy metal elements and substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium.

Summary: The impact of battery pollution is profound and must not be ignored. Lithium-ion batteries will replace lead-acid batteries, so that our living environment will no longer be polluted by lead-acid batteries.

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