decorative image

Batteries & Environmental Sustainability

Batteries are becoming evermore important to the modern world, from electric cars to renewable energy storage. This website explores what batteries, past and present, can teach us about environmental sustainability.


Case Studies

Recent News

Tracking Cobalt from Mine to Battery

September 30, 2016

An investigative journalist at the Washington Post tracked the origins of the cobalt in lithium-ion batteries. In the process, he unearthed the little-known but devastating toll artisinal cobalt mining takes on miners and their families in the Congo.

Are Rechargable Batteries Better?

May 28, 2016

Ready to swap those disposable AA batteries for rechargeable AAs? The results of this study suggest you need to use the rechargeable batteries at least 50 times before that is a good choice for the environment.

A New Way to Recycle Lead

May 22, 2016

Until now, almost all lead has been recycled at smelters, where high-temperature furnaces are energy intensive and require careful pollution management. Could a hydrometallurgical approach be more energy efficient and safer? Interstate Battery Company and Aqua Metals think so.

Lithium Price Spike

January 16, 2016

Over the past year, the price of lithium has more than doubled. Is it because of growing demand for lithium batteries? Is there a risk we could run out? This Economist article surveys the state of the market.