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    Dealing with Embedded Batteries in Electronic Devices

    Nov 1, 2018 1:05:19 PM / by Nate McCloskey

    Enterprise mobility is becoming a common strategy for businesses to allow employees to work from remote locations while traveling. This strategy involves the use of mobile devices like smart phones, tablets, laptops and other small electronic devices. As these devices have evolved, the use of embedded Lithium-Ion batteries has allowed them to be smaller and lighter while maintaining battery life.

    embedded batteries blog graphic 1

    While this is great for the product design, the downside of non-removable batteries is in the dismantle and recycling process. For proper environmental compliance, the batteries must be removed when recycling devices. Recycling centers must be cautious when removing these embedded batteries to avoid fire and explosion hazards. The removal of embedded batteries can also be time consuming and complex.

    There are several methods that can be used to remove these embedded batteries, and each has its pros and cons.

     heat  scraper  command strip adhesive remover 

    Heat

    Scraper

    Command Strip Style Glue

    Adhesive Remover

    Using heat that is just enough to weaken the glue holding the battery

    Using a thin tool to pry between the battery and the device housing

    Some have embedded batteries attached by a Command Strip style glue

    Using a liquid Adhesive Remover to break down the glue

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    This method can be effective at weakening the glue on the battery and allow for easy removal of the battery from the device. This method is a little safer than using heat and still provides a moderate amount of effectiveness for removing an embedded battery. This method allows for quick easy removal of the battery by pulling on a tab of glue that will pull the rest of the glue from under the battery. This method can help break down the glue enough to remove the battery with ease.

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    If the wrong amount of heat is applied or if heat is applied directly to the battery this can cause a thermal reaction the will cause the battery to catch fire. This method increases the chance that a cell of the battery will be punctured. This can release flammable gasses from the battery that may not be safe to inhale. This method is the best option when available but tends to break as you are pulling the glue from under the battery. This means another method for removing the battery will be required. Liquids around a battery thermal allow for shorts that can cause the battery to rapidly heat up and either catch fire or explode.

     

    Another thing to consider is what to do with the battery once it has been removed from the device. Most battery recycling centers only specialize in one type of battery so setting up shipments for these different types will require space for collection and organization. There are also regulations which need to be followed when transporting these batteries to prevent hazards when the batteries are on the back of a trailer. Proper labeling of the containers (usually 55-gallon barrels) allows for proper response teams to be notified in the event of an accident during shipment.

    At GEODIS we have been processing electronic waste recycling - including batteries - for over 20 years. We have technicians with experience in all aspects of the recycling process and can offer this expertise to your company when the time comes to upgrade with the next generation of mobile devices.

    To learn more, check out our website techrecommerce.com

     

    Topics: reverse logistics, recycle, lithium batteries, batteries, dismantle

    Nate McCloskey

    Written by Nate McCloskey

    Nate McCloskey is an Operations Supervisor at GEODIS in Endicott, NY. His responsibilities include process control, team management and customer satisfaction. Nate has 16+ years of experience in the electronics re-manufacturing and recycling business operations. Nate is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

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