The Chemistry of Batteries and Its Implications on Modern Society

1 January 2017

Batteries have proven to be the core of modern day technology, without batteries modern day technology and some electronics would have never existed. Nations that invest more in battery run technology tend to have a higher labor productivity rate. This is because battery powered electronics increase could potentially increase the productivity rate of labor and thus an increase in capital goods. Electronics have also been seen as the driving force of emerging economies, in fact almost all R&D expenditure in China is for telecommunications and electronics (Huwai, 2011).

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For example China’s invest in research and development in electronic factory machines (Industry Innovation, 2007) allowed Chinese manufacturers to boost overall domestic production providing lower cost goods and allowing it to further compete in the global market. A rechargeable car battery (or an automotive battery) is a battery that supplies electrical energy to an automobile and allows us to start up the vehicle’s engine, lights and electrical necessities, cars.

The benefits of batteries in todays societies is incomprehensible, whether it be the use of batteries in smartphones to flashlights or even to car batteries, the use of batteries has helped developed and create a modern society that we live in. Without batteries smartphones and mobiles would have never been created and telecommunications would be nothing more than house phones and primitive electronic devices. The convenience of batteries is that they are portable and rechargeable allowing them to be carried with. In sense batteries is just an energy storage device that does not need to be plugged into an energy source to be functional.

Chemical energy is stored in the battery and when required the converted energy is released. A battery is made up of one or more electrochemical cells, each of which consists of two half-cells. In the redox reaction that powers the battery cations are reduced (electrons are added) at the cathode while anions are oxided. In this world batteries seem to be the only convenient and portable technology available to power the thousands of different electronic devices that are used everyday.

Since its invention the battery has helped create orld-shaping convenient equipment ranging from the flashlight to common childhood toys to car batteries. Batteries have helped mankind accomplish innovative inventions throughout the previous century, and continues to do so, it has also contributed to the development of modern society by constantly powering new trends. However is there a price to all this, and if so, does the benefits of batteries outweigh the costs? Used dead lead batteries are almost always dumped into landfills that can severely damage the environment and the health of well-beings nearby.

In fact 20,000 tons of batteries were landfilled annually in the UK alone (Rebatt, 2007), and global lead battery production is approximated to be worth $36. 2 billion in 2010 and is steadily increasing (OakIsland, 2006) meaning that an increasing number of lead batteries are dumped every year. Toxic led batteries can cause dirt contamination that is provoked by the attendance of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or supplementary alteration in the usual dirt environment. Dumped batteries are a toxicant to the environment, which is the result of the continuous human choice of wealth over the environment.

Over 120 million people are affected negatively by this exposure of led, 99% of whom reside in developing countries (Rebatt, 2007). Scientific studies display that long-term exposure to even puny numbers of lead can cause kidney and brain damage, hearing impairment, as well as setbacks in children (Mary, 2009). Automobiles worldwide use over one million metric tons of lead every year, in which 90% are attributed to standard lead-acid vehicle batteries (HybridCars, 2011). However, there are other environmental solutions towards dealing with the disposal of lead batteries.

Instead of dumping thousands of tons of dead batteries into dreadful landfills, we are able to recycle these batteries therefore getting rid of the disposal problem. By recycling batteries a manufacture could potentially minimize the resources required in creating new batteries. However the process of recycling lead batteries is nearly as toxic as dumping them in landfills. Recycling procedures further discharges tons of lead into the environment. Lead is disappeared and emerging fumes are released into the air.

This toxic metal is next obtainable for human absorption as airborne, beforehand resolving in dust and soil (Marry, 2009). The fundamental base of reactions is the movement of electrons from one atom to another. Energy comes in different forms and the battery uses electrochemical cells to convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy via electron transfer (Bellis, 2006). This allows energy to be used to create additional reactions. The battery uses the redox to create electricity portably without needed to be plugged into a continuous electric source.

Chemical energy is stored in the battery and when required the converted energy is released. A battery is made up of one or more electrochemical cells, each of which consists of two half-cells (Mary, 2008). In the redox reaction that powers the battery cations are reduced (electrons are added) at the cathode while anions are oxided.

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