There has been a tremendous shift in the global operations towards sustainability and going green. This is because climate change is no more a theoretical concept, and environmental degradation is happening at an exponential rate. These appalling issues have pushed the world to a reactive mode where solutions are being devised to stop or reverse these drastic changes happening around us.
One of such green operations was the advent of electrical vehicles. This reduced dependency of transportation on non-renewable and carbon-emitting fuel sources. However, this has posed another threat to the health of the earth. More electrical vehicles mean more use of batteries and hence, more dumping of batteries, creating significant amounts of waste.
In order to solve this problem, scientists and researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have come up with a robotic solution that will dispose of these batteries that have no use anymore. This disposal will be safe, recyclable, and efficient.
The idea of recycling and disassembling batteries is not entirely new, and it has been done before. For example, Nissan changed Leaf batteries into power data centers, Renault turned its electric vehicle batteries into energy storage systems at highway rest stops, and Ford is currently building a US$185-million compound to create new kinds of batteries.
Still, a complete system of disposing of these batteries is needed to minimize the e-waste generated through them. The robotic system pulls apart every cell of the battery and reuses any materials left for the purpose. It can disassemble 100 batteries in the same amount of time that is required by humans to disassemble 12 of them. There are further processes and advancements being done to upscale this project and turn it into a commercial one.