Chapter 15: Caring for Your Batteries from Birth to Retirement

It is interesting to observe that batteries cared for by a single user generally last longer than those that operate in an open fleet system where everyone has access to, but no one is accountable for them. There are two distinct groups of battery users — the personal user and the fleet operator.

A personal user is one who operates a mobile phone, a laptop computer or a video camera for business or pleasure. He or she will most likely follow the recommended guidelines in caring for the battery. The user will get to know the irregularities of the battery. When the runtime gets low, the battery often gets serviced or replaced. Critical failures are rare because the owner adjusts to the performance of the battery and lowers expectations as the battery ages.

The fleet user, on the other hand, has little personal interest in the battery and is unlikely to tolerate a pack that is less than perfect. The fleet user simply grabs a battery from the charger and expects it to last through the shift. The battery is returned to the charger at the end of the day, ready for the next person. Little or no care is given to these batteries. Perhaps due to neglect, fleet batteries generally have a shorter service life than those in personal use.

How can fleet batteries be made to last longer? An interesting contrast in the handling of fleet batteries can be noted by comparing the practices of the US Army and the Dutch Army, both of which use fleet batteries. The US Army issues batteries with no maintenance program in place. If the battery fails, another pack is issued. Little or no care is given and the failure rate is high.

The Dutch Army, on the other hand, has moved away from the open fleet system by making the soldiers responsible for their batteries. This change was made in an attempt to reduce battery waste and improve reliability. The batteries are issued in the soldier’s name and the packs become part of their personal belongings. The results are startling. Since the Dutch Army adapted this new regime, the failure rate has dropped considerably and, at the same time, battery performance has increased. Unexpected down time has almost been eliminated.

It should be noted that the Dutch Army uses exclusively NiCd batteries. Each pack receives periodic maintenance to prolong service life. Weak batteries are systematically replaced. The US Army, on the other hand, uses NiMH batteries. They are evaluating the Li-ion polymer for the next generation battery.

Because of the high failure rate of fleet batteries and the uncertain situations such failures create, some organizations assign a person to maintain batteries. This person checks all batteries on a scheduled basis, exercises them for optimum service life, and replaces those that fall below an accepted capacity level and do not recover with maintenance programs. Batteries perform an important function; giving them the care they deserve is appropriate.

Storage

Batteries are a perishable product and start deteriorating right from the time they leave the manufacturing plant. For this reason, it is not advisable to stock up on batteries for future use. This is especially true with lithium-based batteries. The buyer should also be aware of the manufacturing date. Avoid acquiring old stock.

Keep batteries in a cool and dry storage area. Refrigerators are recommended, but freezers must be avoided because most battery chemistries are not suited for storage in sub-freezing temperatures. When refrigerated, the battery should be placed in a plastic bag to protect it against condensation.

The NiCd battery can be stored unattended for five years and longer. For best results, a NiCd should be fully charged, then discharged to zero volts. If this procedure is impractical, a discharge to 1V/cell is acceptable. A fully charged NiCd that is allowed to self-discharge during storage is subject to crystalline formation (memory).

Most batteries are shipped with a state-of-charge (SoC) of 40 percent. After six months storage or longer, a nickel-based battery needs to be primed before use. A slow charge, followed by one or several discharge/charge cycles, will do. Depending on the duration of storage and temperature, the battery may require two or more cycles to regain full performance. The warmer the storage temperature, the more cycles will be needed.

The Li-ion does not like prolonged storage. Irreversible capacity loss occurs after 6 to 12 months, especially if the battery is stored at full charge and at warm temperatures. It is often necessary to keep a battery fully charged as in the case of emergency response, public safety and defense. Running a laptop (or other portable device) continuously on an external power source with the battery engaged will have the same effect. Figure 15-1 illustrates the recoverable capacity after storage at different charge levels and temperatures.

The combination of a full charge condition and high temperature cannot always be avoided. Such is the case when keeping a spare battery in the car for a mobile phone. The NiMH and Li-ion chemistries are most severely affected by hot storage and operation. Among the Li-ion family, the cobalt has an advantage over the manganese (spinel) in terms of storage at elevated temperatures. [15.1]

The recommended storage temperature of a lithium-based battery is 15°C (59°F) or less. A charge level of 40 percent allows for some self-discharge that naturally occurs; and 15°C is a practical and economical storage temperature that can be achieved without expensive climate control systems.

While most rechargeable batteries cannot be stored at freezing temperatures, some newer commercial Li-ion batteries can be kept at temperatures of -40°C without apparent side effects. Such temperature tolerances enable long and cost-effective storage in the arctic.

The SLA battery can be stored for up to two years but must be kept in a charged condition. A periodic topping charge, also referred to as ‘refreshing charge’, is required to prevent the open cell voltage from dropping below 2.10V. (Depending on the manufacturer, some lead acid batteries may be allowed to drop to lower voltage levels). When self-discharged below a critical voltage threshold, sulfation occurs on most lead acid batteries. Sulfation is an oxidation layer on the negative plate that alters the charge and discharge characteristics. Although cycling can often restore the capacity loss, the battery should be recharged before the open cell voltage drops below 2.10V.

The SLA cannot be stored below freezing temperatures. Once a pack has been frozen, it is permanently damaged and its service life is drastically reduced. A previously frozen battery will only be able to deliver a limited number of cycles.

Priming

Some nickel-based batteries do not perform well when new. This deficiency is often caused by lack of formatting at the time of manufacturing. Batteries that are not sufficiently formatted are destined to fail because the initial capacity is low. The full potential is only reached after the battery has been cycled a few times. In many cases, the user does not have the patience to wait until the expected performance is reached. Instead, the customer exercises the warranty return option.

The most critical time in a battery’s life is the so-called priming stage. An analogy can be drawn with breaking in a new car engine. The performance and fuel efficiency may not be best at first, but with care and attention, the engine will improve over time. If overstressed when new, the engine may never provide the economical and dependable service that is expected.

Some poorly formatted batteries are known to produce less than 10 percent of capacity at the initial priming stage. By cycling, the capacity increases, and the battery will become usable after three to five cycles. Maximum performance on a NiCd, for example, is reached after 50 to 100 full charge/discharge cycles. This priming function occurs while the battery is being used. The gradual capacity increase during the early life of a battery is normally hidden to the user.

Quality cells from major Japanese manufacturers do not need extended priming and can be used almost immediately. After five full cycles, the performance is predictable and fully repeatable.

The manufacturer’s recommended priming procedure should be followed. In many cases, a 24-hour trickle charge is needed. Verifying the performance with a battery analyzer is advisable, especially if the batteries are used for critical applications.

Some nickel-based batteries are known to form a passivation layer if kept in prolonged storage. Little scientific knowledge is available on this subject and the battery manufacturers may deny the existence of such a layer. A full charge/discharge, followed by a complete recharge corrects the problem.

Li-ion cells need less priming than the nickel-based equivalent. Manufacturers of Li-ion cells insist that priming is not a requirement. The priming function on the Li-ion may be used to verify that the battery is fully functional and produces the capacity required.

In an earlier chapter, the question “Why are excessive quantities of batteries being returned under warranty?” was raised. This question has not been fully answered. It appears that all battery chemistries are represented among the packs being returned. It is unclear whether these batteries are inoperable as claimed. Perhaps the liberal warranty return offered by dealers provides an opportunity to acquire a new, and seemingly better, battery without charge. Some misuse of the warranty policy cannot be fully dismissed.

The internal protection circuit of lithium-based batteries may be the cause of some problems. For safety reasons, many of these batteries do not allow a recharge if the battery has been discharged below 2.5V/cell. If discharged close to 2.5V and the battery is not recharged for a while, self-discharge further discharges the pack below the 2.5V level. If, at this time, the battery is put into the charger, nothing may happen. The battery appears to have an open circuit and the user consequently demands a replacement.

Cadex has received a large number of supposedly dead Li-ion polymer batteries from various manufacturers. When measured, these batteries had no voltage at the terminals and appeared to be dead. Charging the packs in their respective chargers was unsuccessful. But after waking up the battery’s control circuit with the ‘Boost’ function of the Cadex 7000 Series battery analyzer, most of these batteries accepted normal charge. After a full charge, the performance was checked. Almost all packs reached capacities of 80 percent and higher and the batteries were returned to service.

The Million Dollar Battery Problem

In today’s surging mobile phone market, many batteries are returned to mobile phone carriers before the ink on the invoice has dried. The most common consumer complaint is ‘less than expected’ runtime.

The reasons for this failure are multi-fold. The battery may not have been properly formatted at the factory. Perhaps the packs remained on the shelf too long or have been discharged too low. Incorrect customer preparation is also to blame. The true reason for such failure may never be known.

Dealers are not equipped to handle the influx of returned batteries. To fulfill the warranty obligations and satisfy the customer, the dealer hands out a new battery and sends the faulty pack to the manufacturer. Truckloads of ‘worthless’ batteries are transported, only to be stockpiled in warehouses for eventual testing or recycling at the manufacturer’s expense. The cost of exchange, time lost by retail staff, shipping, warehousing and eventual disposal amounts to a million dollar problem.

On a recent visit to Europe, a Cadex staff member learned that a large phone manufacturer had received 17 tons of failed handset batteries in one year alone. The batteries were stockpiled in large barrels for recycling. He also discovered that 15,000 NiMH batteries were returned to the manufacturer within weeks after the release of a new phone. When spot-checking the failed batteries with a Cadex 7000 Series battery analyzer, most packs appeared to be operational.

On another occasion, a total of 14,000 Li-ion batteries were returned to a North American mobile phone provider. Of these, only 700 (or 5 percent), were faulty. Of these, ten random batteries were sent to Cadex for further testing. The Cadex lab reported that each of these failed packs indeed had genuine faults.

A European service center sent 40 Li-ion polymer batteries to Cadex for evaluation. These packs had failed in the field and were returned to the service center by customers. When servicing the batteries on a Cadex 7000 Series battery analyzer, 37 units were found to be fully functional with capacities of above 80 percent and impedances below 180mW.

Phone manufacturers report that 80 to 90 percent of returned batteries have no faults or can easily be repaired with battery analyzing equipment. The remaining 10 to 20 percent, which do not easily recover with basic service, can often be restored with extended programs. Only a small percentage of batteries returned under warranty exhibit non-correctable faults.

Not all batteries and portable equipment under warranty fail due to manufacturer’s defects. A service manager for a major mobile phone manufacturer hinted that submersion into a cup of coffee or soft drink is a sizable contributor to equipment and battery failures. Apparently, the acids in the beverages manage to corrode the electrical conductors. Submersion into coffee occurs when the user mistakes the coffee cup for the phone cradle.

In an effort to salvage returned batteries, a leading mobile phone manufacturer segregates battery packs according to purchase date. Packs returned within the thirty-day warranty period are marked as type B. The batteries are then sent to a regional service center where they are serviced with battery analyzers. If the batteries are clean, (have no coffee residue) and regain a capacity of 80 percent or higher, the packs are relabeled and sold as a B class product. Over 90 percent of their returned batteries have been reclaimed with this program.

On the strength of this success, some battery-refurbishing houses have extended the service to include batteries of up to one year old. The service center experiences a 40 to 70 percent restoration yield in repairing these older batteries. The battery-refurbishing centers are said to make a profit. Equally important, such programs reduce the environmental impact of battery disposal.

To the Service Counter, and No Further

Not all manufacturers and dealers offer battery-refurbishing centers. If not available, a program is gaining popularity in which the battery is serviced at the store level. When a customer returns a faulty battery, the pack goes no further than the store that sold the equipment.

The customer service clerk checks the battery on site with approved test equipment. An attempt is made to restore the battery. If not successful and a warranty replacement is needed, a service report is issued, which is sent to the manufacturer by fax or e-mail. After verifying the report, the manufacturer offers replacement batteries as part of the warranty replacement policy.

Warranty replacement can be further streamlined by using the Internet and compatible battery analyzers. Such a process will operate with a minimum of human resources and run independent of office hours and time zones. Here’s how it works:

The manufacturer first sends each participating store an appropriate number of replacement batteries. When a customer returns a faulty battery, service personnel test the pack with the in-store analyzer. If restoration is unsuccessful, the analyzer e-mails a report to the manufacturer, stating the nature of the deficiency. Other information, such as the date of purchase, battery type and customer name are also included. The computer at the manufacturer’s headquarters verifies the claim and, if valid, issues an inventory adjustment against the spare batteries allocated to the store. When the stock gets low, a re-stocking order is generated and additional batteries are sent out automatically.

Besides lowering overhead costs, a fully integrated warranty replacement system provides the manufacturer with accurate information regarding the nature of battery failures. User patterns leading to battery failure can be evaluated by geographic region. For example, a temperature related failure might be more likely to occur in warm climates than in cool ones. Batteries with higher temperature resiliency can be allocated for these regions. Recurring problems can be identified quickly and corrective measures implemented within months rather than years. Such measures can be as simple as providing the customer with better operating instructions in preparing a new battery before use.

One of the most difficult problems in servicing batteries at store-level is a lack of technical know-how by the customer service personnel. With the ever-increasing number of battery models, the task of identifying a battery type and setting the correct parameters is becoming increasingly more complex. Technology is not keeping pace in supplying the battery market with suitable test equipment that is both cost effective and easy to use.

To bring battery testing within reach of the untrained user, battery analyzers must be simple to operate and allow easy interface with all major battery types. Setting the correct battery parameters should be clear and concise. Uncertainties that can lead to errors must be minimized. The manufacturer of the battery test equipment should be aware that the task of operating a battery analyzer is not part of the clerk’s job description.

The Batteryshop™ software by Cadex has been developed for the purpose of simplifying battery maintenance. When installed in a PC, the operator simply selects the desired battery from the database of over 2000 battery listings. With the Cadex 7000 Series connected to the PC, the analyzer programs itself to the correct parameters with the click of the mouse. The user only needs to insert the battery into the appropriate battery adapter and everything else is done automatically.

Some batteries, such as those manufactured by Motorola, are equipped with bar code labels. If bar coded, the user can simply scan the bar code label and insert the battery into the analyzer. Here is how it works:

The scanned battery model number is matched with the battery listing in the database. Cadex Batteryshop™ then assigns the appropriate battery configuration code (C-code) to the battery and downloads it to the Cadex 7000 Series. The analyzer is now programmed to the correct parameters, ready to service the battery.

Not all battery packs come with bar code identification. If not available, a label printer connected to the PC can generate the missing bar code. These labels can be attached to a separate sheet on the service counter. The bar code labels may also be placed next to an illustration of the battery. The clerk simply refers to the correct battery and scans the bar code label associated with the battery. The system is now set to service the battery.

In the near future it will be possible to view the picture of the battery on the PC monitor. Clicking the mouse on the image will reveal all model numbers associated with this battery. A click on the correct model will program the analyzer.

When training global staff, simplification and automation make common sense. With tools now available that do the thinking, employees no longer need to be battery experts. Similar to a checkout clerk in a supermarket who, in the pre-computer days, required full product knowledge can now rely on the embedded bar code information. The price of all items purchased is flashed on the screen and an up-to-the-second inventory status is available. Such simplifications are also possible in servicing commercial batteries.

The Quick Fix

Checking a battery and assessing its status within a few minutes is one thing — finding a solution and actually fixing the problem is another. Increasingly, customers and dealers alike are seeking an alternative solution to replacing the batteries under warranty. They want a quick fix.

Fully automated test procedures are being developed which check the battery and apply a quick-prime program to wake up a sleeping battery. The program will last from a few minutes for an easy wake-up call, to an hour or longer for the deep-sleepers.

Batteries with minor deficiencies will be serviced while the customer enjoys a cup of coffee or browses through the store. If the battery has an electrical short or does not accept a charge, the likelihood of revitalizing the battery is slim. This pack is eliminated within seconds to clear the test equipment for other batteries. If a pack requires extensive priming, which will take a few hours to complete, the customer is asked to come back later.

Some battery analyzers indicate the estimated service time after the battery has passed through the early assessment stages. The customer can decide to wait, buy a spare battery, or come back for the repaired battery the next day.

A complete battery cycle offers the best service. Such a service makes optimal use of the restorative abilities of a battery analyzer. A full cycle may take five to eight hours and can be applied overnight. Multi-bay analyzers that service several batteries at the same time increase the throughput. Such analyzers operate 24 hours without user intervention.

A customer may not have time to wait for the outcome of a battery test. The prospect of having to buy a new battery is even less appealing. In such a case, a class B or replacement battery may be the answer. This pack can be drawn from a pool of refurbished batteries, which the store has built up from previous returns. This could become a lucrative side business as customers begin to realize the cost saving potential, especially if the battery is accompanied by a performance report.

Some battery analyzers offer ultra-fast charge functions. The maximum permissible charge current that can be applied to a battery is dictated by the battery’s ability to absorb charge. A fit battery, or one that has a partial charge, would charge to the 70 percent level in 30 minutes or less. A 70 percent charge level is often sufficient to complete a performance test or quick-fill the battery for a hurried customer. The topping charge from there to full charge is what demands the long charge time.

Some late model battery analyzers also offer a quick priming program that services a battery in a little more than an hour. This program applies an ultra-fast charge and ultra-fast discharge to check the integrity of the battery. By virtue of cycling, some priming and conditioning activities occur.

Customers demand a quick turnaround when a mobile phone fails. Manufacturers and service providers realize that better methods are needed to handle customer returns. The expensive and wasteful battery exchange policies practiced today may no longer be acceptable in the future. Fierce competition and tight product margins are part of the reason. Returned batteries account for a considerable after-sale burden. With modern technology, these costs can be reduced while improving customer service and enhancing satisfaction.

Battery Warranty

Some manufacturers of industrial batteries provide warranties of up to 18 months. A free exchange is offered if the battery fails to meet 80 percent of the rated capacity throughout the warranty period. (I hasten to mention that these warranty policies apply to markets other than mobile phones.)

But what happens if such a battery is returned for warranty? Will the dealer replace the pack without hesitation? Rarely.

With lack of battery standards, manufacturers are free to challenge warranty claims, even if a genuine problem exists. Many batteries reveal only the chemistry and voltage on the label and do not make reference to the milliampere-hour rating (mAh). How does the user know what capacity rating to use when testing the battery? What performance standards can be applied?

On battery packs that show the mAh rating, some battery manufacturers may have used the peak capacity rating. This is done for promotional reasons to make their packs look better than the competitor’s. Peak capacity is based on a lower discharge rate because a battery produces higher readings if discharged slowly. For warranty purposes, a discharge of 1C should be used.

Regulatory authorities stress the importance of marking all batteries with the average capacity rating. Portable batteries with a capacity of up to about 2A should be rated at a 1C discharge. Batteries above that capacity may be rated at 0.5C. No true standard exists in term of capacity rating.

With the increased popularity of battery analyzers, battery manufacturers and dealers are urged to follow industry-accepted standards regarding battery ratings. In an attempt to lower warranty claims, some battery manufacturers have moderated the published ratings of some batteries to be more consistent with reality.

Manufacturers are concerned about the high cost of providing free replacement batteries and disposing of returned units. If a battery analyzer is used, failures due to fading capacity can mostly be corrected. Warranty claims are exercised only on those packs that develop a genuine failure. If fewer batteries returned, the vendor can offer better pricing.

Battery Recycling

Even though the emphasis in battery research has shifted away from NiCd to newer technologies, the NiCd battery continues to be one of the most used rechargeable batteries. Over 75 million NiCd batteries were sold in the US during the year 2000. Market reports indicate that the demand of NiCd batteries is expected to rise six percent per year until 2003. The demand for other chemistries, such as the NiMH and Li-ion family, is rising at a more rapid pace. Where will the mountains of batteries go when spent? The answer is recycling.

The lead acid battery has led the way in recycling. The automotive industry should be given credit in organizing ways to dispose of spent car batteries. In the USA, 98 percent of all lead acid batteries are recycled. Compared to aluminum cans (65 percent), newspaper (59 percent) and glass bottles (37 percent), lead acid batteries are reclaimed very efficiently, due in part to legislation.

Only one in six households in North America recycle rechargeable batteries. Teaching the public to bring these batteries to a recycling center is a challenging task. Homeowners have the lowest return ratios, but this should improve once more recycling repositories become available and better environmental awareness is emphasized.

Careless disposal of the NiCd is very hazardous to the environment. If used in landfills, the cadmium will eventually dissolve itself and the toxic substance will seep into the water supply, causing serious health problems. Our oceans are already beginning to show traces of cadmium (along with aspirin, penicillin and antidepressants) but the source of the contamination is unknown.

Although NiMH batteries are considered environmentally friendly, this chemistry is also being recycled. The main derivative is nickel, which is considered semi-toxic. NiMH also contains an electrolyte that, in large amounts, is hazardous to the environment.

If no disposal service is available in an area, individual NiMH batteries can be discarded with other household wastes. If ten or more batteries are accumulated, the user should consider disposing the batteries in a secure waste landfill.

Lithium (metal) batteries contain no toxic metals, however, there is the possibility of fire if metallic lithium is exposed to moisture while the cells are corroding. Most lithium batteries are non-rechargeable and are used by defense organizations. For proper disposal, these batteries must be fully discharged in order to consume all the metallic lithium content. Li-ion batteries do not contain metallic lithium and the disposal problem does not exist. Most lithium systems, however, contain toxic and flammable electrolyte.

In 1994, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) was founded to promote the recycling of rechargeable batteries in North America. RBRC is a non-profit organization that collects batteries from consumers and businesses and sends them to Inmetco and Toxco for recycling. Inmetco specializes in recycling NiCd, but also accepts NiMH and lead-based batteries. Toxco, focuses on lithium metal and Li-ion system. Currently only intended to recycle NiCd batteries, RBRC will expand the program to include also NiMH, Li-ion and SLA batteries.

Programs to recycle spent batteries have been in place in Europe and Asia for many years. Sony and Sumitomo Metal in Japan have developed a technology to recycle cobalt and other precious metals from Li-ion batteries. The rest of Asia is progressing at a slower rate. Some movements in recycling spent batteries are starting in Taiwan and China, but no significant infrastructure exists.

Battery recycling plants require batteries to be sorted according to chemistries. Some sorting is done prior to the battery arriving at the recycling plants. NiCd, NiMH, Li-ion and lead acid are often placed in designated boxes at the collection point.

Sorting batteries adds to the cost of recycling. The average consumer does not know the chemistry of the batteries they are using. For most, a battery is a battery.

If a steady stream of batteries, sorted by chemistry, were available at no charge, recycling would be feasible with little cost to the user. The logistics of collection, transportation and labor to sort the batteries make recycling expensive.

The recycling process starts by removing the combustible material, such as plastics and insulation using a gas fired thermal oxidizer. Gases from the thermal oxidizer are sent to the plant’s scrubber where they are neutralized to remove pollutants. The process leaves the clean, naked cells which contain valuable metal content.

The cells are then chopped into small pieces, which are then heated until the metal liquefies. Non-metallic substances are burned off; leaving a black slag on top that is removed with a slag arm. The different alloys settle according to their weights and are skimmed off like cream from raw milk.

Cadmium is relatively light and vaporizes easily at high temperatures. In a process that appears like a pan boiling over, a fan blows the cadmium vapor into a large tube, which is cooled with water mist. This causes the vapors to condense. A 99.95 percent purity level of cadmium can be achieved using this method.

Some recyclers do not separate the metals on site but pour the liquid metals directly into what the industry refers to as ‘pigs’ (65 pounds) or ‘hogs’ (2000 pounds). The pigs and hogs are then shipped to metal recovery plants. Here, the material is used to produce nickel, chromium and iron re-melt alloy for the manufacturing of stainless steel and other high end products.

Current battery recycling methods requires a high amount of energy. It takes six to ten times the amount of energy to reclaim metals from recycled batteries than it would through other means. A new process is being explored, which may be more energy and cost effective. One method is dissolving the batteries with a reagent solution. The spent reagent is recycled without forming any atmospheric, liquid or solid wastes.

Who pays for the recycling of batteries? Participating countries impose their own rules in making recycling feasible. In North America, some recycling plants bill on weight. The rates vary according to chemistry. Systems that yield high metal retrieval rates are priced lower than those which produce less valuable metals. The highest recycling fees apply to NiCd and Li-ion batteries because the demand for cadmium is low and Li-ion batteries contain little in the way of retrievable metal. The recycling cost of alkaline is 33 percent lower than that of NiCd and Li-ion because the alkaline cell contains valuable iron. The NiMH battery yields the best return. Recycling NiMH produces enough nickel to pay for the process.

Not all countries base the cost of recycling on the battery chemistry; some put it on tonnage alone. The cost of recycling batteries is about $1,000 to $2,000US per ton. Europe hopes to achieve a cost per ton of $300US. Ideally, this would include transportation, however, moving the goods is expected to double the overall cost. For this reason, Europe sets up several smaller processing locations in strategic geographic locations.

Significant subsidies are sill required from manufacturers, agencies and governments to support the battery recycling programs. These subsidies are in the form of a tax added to each manufactured cell. RBRC is financed by such a scheme.

Caution: Under no circumstances should batteries be incinerated as this can cause them to explode.

Important: In case of rupture, leaking electrolyte or any other cause of exposure to the electrolyte, flush with water immediately. If eye exposure occurs, flush with water for 15 minutes and consult a physician immediately.