| Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 11:50:33 +0100
| From: Timothy Murphy <gayleard at eircom.net>
| On Thursday 28 May 2009 08:41:30 Josh Glover wrote:=0A=
| > 2009/5/26 Brian Foster <blf at utvinternet.ie>:
| > > I'm presuming — albeit I admit
| > > to not knowing/having any evidence — the impact of making,
| > > using (recharging(electricity)), and (eventually) recycling
| > > the rechargeable (plus the extra equipment, e.g., recharger)
| > > is less than the impact of all the non-rechargeable (making
| > > and disposing/recycling) I would have otherwise used.
| > I hope this is true, as I labour under the same presumption. :)
| > Has anyone pointers to research on this topic?
|[ ... ]
| (And unless you religiously avoid rechargeables
| you will require a charger in any case.)
yes & no. in the specific case being talked about,
my mouse, it is _designed_ for recharging (albeit
with a replaceable rechargeable battery rather than
a built-in/non-replaceable one). the base station
also serves as the recharger. the one thing I'm not
happy about is the power doesn't come from the USB
link, but from a separate power supply connected to
the A/C mains.
(similar comments apply to my mp3 player, except the
rechargeable battery is builtin: it's base station
is also the recharger, and it will recharge using
the USB power.)
on the question of a study, I found this one:
Rebecca L. Lankey & Francis C. McMichael,
“Life-Cycle Methods for Comparing Primary and
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2000,
ACS (American Chemical Society),
from the end of the Abstract (I've inserted all of the
paragraph breaks to make it more readable):
“[...] In this paper, the above hybrid LCA
[Life-Cycle Assessment] approach is applied to
comparing the total environmental impacts of
primary and rechargeable batteries. The primary
(non-rechargeable) batteries mainly used in electronic
products are zinc−alkaline batteries, and the
most widely used consumer rechargeable batteries
It is generally accepted that rechargeable batteries
offer environmental advantages over primary batteries.
We find that materials use, energy use, and emissions
can be quantified over the entire product life cycle
to quantitatively show that resource use and emissions
are substantially lower if a rechargeable battery
can be substituted for a primary battery.
However, consumer use patterns will affect the
relative environmental benefits of rechargeable
batteries. Noting the effect of consumer behavior
also determines where uncertainties in the analysis
may lie, since behavior is difficult to predict.
Recycling batteries will also have associated
emissions and energy use. Even accounting for the
additional resource consumption and emissions for
rechargeable batteries in the use and recycling phases
of life, rechargeable batteries will still consume
less resources over the entire life cycle when used
in applications as a substitute for primary batteries.
unfortunately, the paper itself is behind a paywall.
however, judging only by the above (excerpted) Abstract,
it does seem the presumption is correct provided the
rechargeable batteries are used/recharged correctly.
the extent to which NiMH changes the calculations (which
are only for NiCad) is unknown (albeit NiMH's are less
toxic). I presume they are other/later studies looking
at that and related questions.
“How many surrealists does it take to | Brian Foster
change a lightbulb? Three. One calms | somewhere in south of France
the warthog, and two fill the bathtub | Stop E$$o (ExxonMobil)!
with brightly-coloured machine tools.” | http://www.stopesso.com
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