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BATTERY IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION James Neely 2013 NAHMMA Northwest Regional Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "BATTERY IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION James Neely 2013 NAHMMA Northwest Regional Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 BATTERY IDENTIFICATION AND CLASSIFICATION James Neely 2013 NAHMMA Northwest Regional Conference

2 Standardized marking Which batteries classify as hazardous/dangerous waste Age of batteries Mercury content from old/counterfeit batteries Lithium coin vs alkaline button cells TOPICS

3 The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) develops standards that contain standard marking requirements for batteries From IEC : STANDARDS

4 Most battery types will start with a two-letter code as developed by the IEC Primary Batteries STANDARD NOMENCLATURE Rechargeable Batteries Letter CodeChemistry R*Carbon zinc BR, CR, FRLithium LRAlkaline PR, ZRZinc air SRSilver oxide Letter CodeChemistry HRNickel metal hydride KRNickel cadmium *The R is common in all types and means cylindrical. The Carbon Zinc types contain only the R as they are referred to as the no-letter-system batteries.

5 Classification *May contain added mercury at low levels

6 Reputable batteries made after 1992/1993 are mercury free How to tell?  Batteries with metal labels (except 9V) will be pre-1990  Batteries with green trees or other environmental marking will be mercury free  More than 99% of batteries in the waste stream today are mercury free Best if used-by dates  Typically 5-7 years MERCURY CONTENT / BATTERY AGE Metal LabelPlastic Label Best if Used By Date

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8 The graph below represents the mercury content of batteries in parts per million in the waste stream as sampled at four US locations. The weighted average for 2011 is 27.3 ppm. MERCURY REDUCTION

9 Counterfeits and Knockoffs are a concern but less so in North America They can contain mercury or be mislabeled (carbon zinc batteries posing as alkaline) COUNTERFEITS

10 90% or more of lithium coin cells will be 20 mm or greater in diameter, while other chemistries tend to be smaller The best bet is the refer the CR/BR marking (lithium) vs the LR, PR or SR marking for the button types Nearly all button types will be 11.6 mm in diameter or less LITHIUM COIN VS. BUTTON CELLS Button Lithium Coin

11 Mercury Free Button Batteries

12 Alkaline types (including button cells) can get hot when sorted but do not pose a fire hazard Lithium batteries, due to risk of short circuit, can get hot and pose a risk of fire, especially coin cells Mixed cells (alkaline and lithium) can pose a fire hazard due to short circuit of the lithium types but the risk is substantially less than with exclusively lithium types HAZARDS OF SORTED BATTERIES

13 Sorting is Half the Cost of Managing Batteries


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