## Battery Charging.

Discussions on general chemistry and chemical engineering, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, etc.

### Battery Charging.

I have a battery re-charger for AA and AAA batteries but no longer have the rechargeable batteries that came with it. The other day the AA in my mouse died, and I had no new ones. In frustration I put the old duracells in the charger, knowing it could be risky.
But after a few minutes of charging, the mouse has worked fine for several days.

So what is the difference between the rechargeable type and the so called non rechargeable ones, and what are the risks of doing this. I think if left for a longer time they would over heat, fire, maybe explode.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

This is a guess: Non-rechargeable batteries have reactants in them that do not typically separate once reacted. The reaction is one way and you would need a catalyst or other reaction steps to get back to your initial reactants.

Basically you have reactants -----> products + electricity
rechargeable batteries can go
Products + electricity -----> reactants
and a double arrow would be used
<------>
reactants <-----> products

But non-rechargeable batteries won't have the double arrow.
reactants -----> products

I found this.

Sticking a non-rechargeable battery in a charger does not replenish it, but it may refresh the current path and reduce the interal resistance that has built up with use.

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

A rough analogy might be that you have two magnets

They are attracted to one another and you get energy out of them snapping together.
You can put energy back into them to pull them apart. That would be rechargeable.

Non-rechargeable would be two magnets snapping together then a clip locks them together.
To get them back apart you need to put energy back into to pulling them apart, but you also need a tool (catalyst) to unclip them.

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Well however it works, all I know is my mouse quits working, and I put the batteries in the charger for a while and the mouse works fine for several days. This morning I forgot and they charged or whatever for an hour and a half. I have a meter somewhere. may be if I can find it I'll measure the charge before and after.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

that is a good thing. Make the most out of your batteries, then there are lots of battery recycling places and dropoff locations now. At least where I live.

Just be extremely careful when you charge them. There is probably a reason they say risk of explosion or fire when putting non-rechargeables into a charger. I'd be curious to youtube to find it there are any videos of it or call myth busters. hehe

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### Re: Battery Charging.

From Wiki:
Disposable alkaline batteries are classed as primary batteries; manufacturers do not support recharging, and warn that it may be dangerous.[1] Despite this advice, alkaline batteries have successfully been recharged, and suitable chargers have been available.[2] The capacity of a recharged alkaline battery declines with number of recharges, until it becomes unusable after typically about ten cycles.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

A dry battery is very similar to an electrolytic capacitor, except that the charging curve limits according to the battery materials rather than according to the charging voltage, and the total charge winds up being much larger at a particular voltage. What you did was store a charge, primarily through strain along the interfaces. The danger is that most ordinary batteries are not designed for any great amount of strain, and do not have pressure release vents. If one fails, it tends to be quite damaging.

### Re: Battery Charging.

It has been working well, with about a 20-30 minutes on the charger, for my mouse. I did try the same thing for a flash light, without much success, but may be need more time on the charger. I have a meter, so I'll try taking some measurements. But yes I understand there is risk involved.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Watson » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:53 pm wrote:It has been working well, with about a 20-30 minutes on the charger, for my mouse. I did try the same thing for a flash light, without much success, but may be need more time on the charger. I have a meter, so I'll try taking some measurements. But yes I understand there is risk involved.

Keep in mind that a mouse uses about 10 mA when active, and less than 1 mA when resting. A flashlight draws at least 500 mA. Thus, a mouse can run on a surface charge quite a while, while the flashlight cannot. To make things worse, the RC time constant for a mouse in use is greater than a minute, while for a flashlight, it would be much less than a second. Making it even worse than that, an incandescent flashlight bulb has a positive temperature coefficient.

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### Re: Battery Charging.

I just tossed 16 AA batteries in the recycling bin at school thinking about this thread. I burned through them with my GSP unit over the last two weeks. Fortunately for me I don't' have to worry about buying batteries for some time because I have a stockpile I acquired from my last job as they would often get rid of partially used batteries that were like new, but I feel the pain of most people having to buy them as they are expensive. I vowed a long time ago to never buy something that didn't come with rechargeable batteries.

I have have a huge box of C batteries that I don't even know what to do with. They had so many wasted at my last job I was looking for fun things to do with them and found this neat trick that I quickly got bored with.

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

I was thinking of tossing my mouse in the same pile, and buying one with a UBS plug but this is working well so the ones that didn't work in the flash light are now my back up mouse spares.

Watson
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### Re: Now you're talking...

Watson wrote:I was thinking of tossing my mouse in the same pile, and buying one with a UBS plug...

If you don't already have a USB mouse kicking around your basement, anyone you know (older than 20) with a computer probably does and would be happy to give one to you. Lot's of computers come with them as original equipment, then users "upgrade" to battery or go for the touchy screens. The old mice are a dime a dozen.

Keep an eye out for garage sales, flee markets, and trash night in the neighborhood. If you see any part of a computer laying out, there's probably a homeless mouse sitting in that pile too.

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### Re: Battery Charging.

zetreque » June 19th, 2015, 10:17 pm wrote:I have have a huge box of C batteries that I don't even know what to do with.

Yeah, C's are pretty antiquated.

I think your best bet are spacers to allow AAA's to work as AA's, and AA's to work as C's & D's, and C's to serve as D's. You can buy them on Amazon. The C->D's appear in the top of the image below.

BTW, the chief problem with 1:1 AA->D spacers is that even though the former supply the same output voltage as the latter, they only have 1/5th the energy storage, so they only run 1/5th as long.
Darby

### Re: Battery Charging.

The last few time it would work about a week before needing to be recharged , but his last time the mouse has been working for about 3 weeks on the latest charge. I don't recall doing anything different, or charging longer.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

I don't know all that much about batteries, but everyone is talking about this new Tesla Motors factory coming online to produce lithium ion batteries.

I am wondering though. When Tesla came out with their first prototype model, I got to sit in one and talk to the engineers (who were not very friendly). The car didn't even have an emblem on it at the time. I recall them saying that the batteries wouldn't last very long and new ones would need to be bought or exchanged every five years or so which I then spent the rest of the night thinking about and calculating the economics of the car out to be extremely expensive.

I knew a guy a while back who lived off-grid and would just "rejuvenate" his lead acid batteries that he had hooked up to his solar panels.

I am wondering how much longer a lithium ion battery would last over a lead acid in a solar system and aren't there methods to fix a lead acid battery yourself where a lithium ion battery you would just have to get a whole new one?

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

zetreque » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:15 am wrote:I don't know all that much about batteries, but everyone is talking about this new Tesla Motors factory coming online to produce lithium ion batteries.

I am wondering though. When Tesla came out with their first prototype model, I got to sit in one and talk to the engineers (who were not very friendly). The car didn't even have an emblem on it at the time. I recall them saying that the batteries wouldn't last very long and new ones would need to be bought or exchanged every five years or so which I then spent the rest of the night thinking about and calculating the economics of the car out to be extremely expensive.

I knew a guy a while back who lived off-grid and would just "rejuvenate" his lead acid batteries that he had hooked up to his solar panels.

I am wondering how much longer a lithium ion battery would last over a lead acid in a solar system and aren't there methods to fix a lead acid battery yourself where a lithium ion battery you would just have to get a whole new one?

It is almost impossible to compare the two batteries because the intended discharge cycles are different. A typical lead-acid battery works very well as a shallow-cycle standby (as in a car where you typically see voltages between 12.2 V and 13 V), while a Li-ion battery works well under moderate discharges, with periodic deep-discharge (deep-discharges can destroy lead acid batteries).

The other difference is the specific energy. Lithium ion batteries have 2 to 3 times the specific energy value of a lead-acid battery. "Repaired" lead acid batteries typically have an energy density much lower. BTW, when touting batteries, always remember that ordinary gasoline has a specific energy about 100 times greater than that of a lithium-ion battery.

So, to answer your question as best as I can: a lead-acid battery will last about twice as long as a lithium-ion battery for shallow discharges, while a lithium-ion will last about 100 times as long as a lead-acid battery for much deeper discharges. Just depends on what you want to use them for.

BTW, Tesla came late to the table. If you want to bet on lithium-ion batteries, put your money on BYD in China.

### Re: Battery Charging.

So if your solar cells are going to keep the batteries pretty much stocked, lead-acid is the way to go? However if you electrical demand is so high that it discharges your batteries a lot over the night, then lithium would be a better option?

I must assume then that Tesla's idea of home solar would not have that many panels and size them to discharge more?

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

zetreque » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:03 pm wrote:So if your solar cells are going to keep the batteries pretty much stocked, lead-acid is the way to go? However if you electrical demand is so high that it discharges your batteries a lot over the night, then lithium would be a better option?

I must assume then that Tesla's idea of home solar would not have that many panels and size them to discharge more?

I thought you were asking about a comparison of types. If you are talking about a commercial application, then you have to also consider comparing factories and whether lead-acid batteries will be made in sufficient quantities and in what size. There are too many variables to give one answer.

I'm not familiar enough with Tesla's home application to answer that last question, but it would depend very much on how your state public utilities commission has set up the ability to sell back electricity.

### Re: Battery Charging.

Though I resist chattery barging in a thread on battery charging, I will say that lead-acid has environmental issues that make me less than eager to embrace it for most uses. The mining of lead, the improper disposal of lead batteries by fools, and their sheer massiveness, are all minuses for me.

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### Re: Battery Charging.

Braininvat » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:45 am wrote:Though I resist chattery barging in a thread on battery charging, I will say that lead-acid has environmental issues that make me less than eager to embrace it for most uses. The mining of lead, the improper disposal of lead batteries by fools, and their sheer massiveness, are all minuses for me.

Lithium-ion batteries are currently as bad as lead-acid if not worse. Technology, of course, evolves. I still favor natural gas as the least damaging energy source . . . today. Tomorrow may change my opinion.

### Re: Battery Charging.

I appreciate considering all the factors. I am not seeing this Tesla thing to be all that great. Economies of scale might help bring price down, and potential for recycling of burnt out lithium ion batteries might be there. Also a step in getting away from oil is always good. I am just trying to think critically about how great this Tesla Motors move to make lithium ion batteries actually is. I don't trust it based on Elon Musk's track record. Mining lithium has environmental impacts too. There are always costs. I was just curious about the differences between lead-acid and lithium for solar applications. Which one lasts longer when it comes to recharging them with solar. Sorry Watson for taking over your thread.

I have heard that lead-acid is also recycled with great success and just a quick search (probably from a biased source) shows this.

http://batterycouncil.org/?page=battery_recycling
Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 98 percent of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Ha, my mouose is in the charger again. No problem Z, where ever the thread goes is fine, in this case.

Watson
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 98 percent of all battery lead is recycled...

That's a relief to hear. Though, given the enormous number of lead-acid batteries out there, I imagine 2% is a lot of batteries rotting in sheds, leaching lead and sulfuric acid into the ground. Lead is severely toxic, especially to children. If a little lithium leaks into our water, we'll all just get calmer and have fewer mood swings. JK

Seriously, I had not known the recycle rate was that high. Very encouraging. For solar, you would definitely want a deeper cycle, given that cloudy spells can last several days in many places.

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### Re: Battery Charging.

Yes the 98% seems high and pop cans lumped in with beer cans likely alters the true picture. Recycled pop cans is likely much lower, while beer cans with a deposit would have a much higher return rate.

And 30 minutes later the mouse is back in fine shape.

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### Re: Battery Charging.

Old science is still good science. :)

acmeschool - batteries

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Watson » June 19th, 2015, 9:58 pm wrote:I was thinking of tossing my mouse in the same pile, and buying one with a UBS plug but this is working well so the ones that didn't work in the flash light are now my back up mouse spares.

Sounds like a good idea. Wired mice tend to work better. Not only do you not have to worry about batteries, but even under ideal conditions without interference, wireless mice still have slower response times than wired mice.

Good computer mice and nice 'n cheap, too! Popular, well-reviewed mice:
• This one's currently $5.99 for a basic (but popular and well-reviewed) mouse. • This one's currently$10.99 for a quality mouse.
• This one's currently $76.30 for a top-notch mouse. In general something like that$10.99 mouse is probably the best choice for most computer users. The $76.30 one is my personal favorite, but you're really paying a huge premium for relatively small improvements - which can be worth it if you're a very heavy computer user, but most people would probably prefer to spend the$50+ on other stuff.
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### Re: Battery Charging.

Conceptually, recharging batteries is related to reversibility. Reversible processes tend to move from State $\text{A}$ to State $\text{B}$ in a way that's not heavily forced, making it relatively easy to take it back to State $\text{A}$ later.

Single-use batteries don't need to employ highly reversible chemistry, so manufacturers pick the battery's chemistry without regard for its recharge properties. These batteries may have some rechargeability, but they're not designed for it. Since they're not designed to be recharged, attempts to recharge them might be dangerous.

By analogy, some paint is edible (food coloring), so is it a good idea to try to eat paints not advertised as being edible? Well, some paints not made for eating might not be dreadfully toxic, but in general they're not designed for being eaten. Since they're not designed to be eaten, attempts to eat them might be dangerous.

Oddly enough, someone actually asked about eating wet cement lately. And the response was the same - if it's not designed for it, you need to know exactly what it is to make that decision. Generally we don't know exactly how commercial products are implemented, so it's just practical to assume that commercial products are only useful for their intended uses unless you really know exactly what's in them. For example, particular non-rechargeable batteries might have a component in them that causes them to have different recharge properties from other non-rechargeable batteries; there's no way we can generalize across all commercial implementations since they don't all follow the exact same blueprint; they're always changing, vary by brand, type, etc.

In short: don't recharge non-rechargeable batteries.
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### Re: Battery Charging.

I am faced with another battery problem.

I have this maglite flashlight I have had since I was about 6 years old. I some batteries in it for only about 2 months and one of them nearest the bulb end corroded and expanded. I got the plastic stopper out of the bulb end and was trying to press it back down with this thin screw driver that is the largest I can get in there given the holes, and it puncture the battery making a hissing noise. I have only managed to move the battery about an inch and it's all punctured. :(

zetreque
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### Re: Battery Charging.

zetreque,

This flashlight is currently about \$12, very bright, and it'll charge your phone while in your pocket and can be recharged by your phone's charger.
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### Re: Battery Charging.

but it doesn't have the sentimental value. I already have a bunch of flashlights and I used this one for one location. It has a LED bulb in it too.

I am soaking it in electrical contact lubricant before I attempt to punch more holes in the battery.

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