Portable battery lifespans and new estimation method for battery collection rate based on a lifespan modeling approach
Journal article, 2017
Separate collection and recycling of used batteries is required in the EU member states and other countries, as a measure for environmentally sound management of batteries. Monitoring of collection rate of the separate battery stream is important for decision making, in particular for implementing interventions to improve the separate collection and evaluating their results. Limitations of the currently applied method for the estimation of battery collection rate are discussed and a new method, which improves the estimation, is suggested. The method utilizes a more accurate way of estimating the total battery waste generation. This estimation is based on batteries historical consumption estimated with material flow analysis method and distributions of batteries lifespan obtained from empirical data. Empirical data from two decades of battery consumption and disposal in Sweden were analyzed and lifespan distributions have been found for eight different types of batteries by dating over 5000 disposed batteries. The lifespans stretched from 1 to 28 years, with a median lifespan of 3–8 years. It is shown how the use of lifespan distributions in the suggested method could considerably improve the estimation of the collection rate. Consequently, the intervention potentials can be identified more accurately and the decision making for investments in the collection system can be improved. The observed lifespans are also useful for understanding batteries fate in households as well as trends in battery consumption and disposal.
Material flow analysis