At a recent conference in San Jose, IBM researchers from India presented a study which found that roughly 70% of discarded laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power LED lights for an entire year with just one battery.
This may not sound very helpful, but the implications of this study are huge for poor populations in countries like India, who struggle to find power for their homes.
In addition to providing poor families with power, recycling laptop batteries in this way could also help to minimize trash and waste from electronic products which many times become obsolete in just a few years.
The process is a bit more complicated than just hooking a laptop battery up to a light though, and actually requires a device called UrJar which was developed by The Smarter Energy Group at MIT.
According to its developers, “UrJar has the potential to channel e-waste towards the alleviation of energy poverty, thus simultaneously providing a sustainable solution for both problems.”
In America alone over 50 million computers are thrown away each year, many of which are not recycled in any way. Allthough many old models of computers are obsolete, many new computers still use the same components, and there are also many other creative uses for old computer parts as well, as these researchers have demonstrated.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.