There are many types of batteries, but only three main ones, Lead Acid, Nickel Metal Hydrogen, and Lithium Ion. All three are quite similar, and are made from naturally occurring elements or materials. There is one major difference though. Nickel Metal Hydrogen batteries are made from recycled nickel. So why are they called recycled batteries? Well, this is the key difference. A Nickel Metal Hydrogen battery uses nickel from used batteries, which has already served their purpose in our planet’s planetary ecosystem. Using nickel from batteries means that there is very little environmental impact because we are recycling.
Lead Acid batteries on the other hand use natural resources to create the battery. Lead is mined from the ground, crushed, purified, then made into the battery. Lead comes from mined areas, not recycled, so you are taking resources from downstream areas to make the battery. All told this can be one of the most impactful batteries to produce because of the sheer amount of materials involved. These batteries have very long manufacturing lives, even after sitting in a warehouse for a while, which is why they are popular for use in cars. So what are the pros and cons of this?
The main advantage of a lead acid battery is that they are not nearly as common as nickel metal hydride batteries and not nearly as affordable. They are big, bulky, and not comfortable to carry around. They also require extremely high voltages to be kept properly charged. This means that they are not as common as lead acid batteries, and are therefore not as common. One very good feature of lead acid batteries is that after many years, they are actually recyclable. Whereas nickel metal hydride batteries can’t be recycled.
Now let’s take a look at the cons. The main disadvantage of lead acid batteries is they are the most expensive to produce of the three types of batteries, which makes them more expensive to use. A lead acid battery will require the highest initial investment because of the extensive materials involved, then they take the longest to recharge, and generally have the least energy output than any of the three types. They also have the lowest energy density of all three types, which means they give off the least amount of energy. Finally lead acid batteries will be responsible for one of the largest environmental footprints in the world.
Why choose lead acid batteries? Well there are good arguments for each of the three types of batteries to be used. Nickel metal hydride batteries have a good energy density and are the easiest to produce, recharge, and dispose of. Lead acid batteries come in first because they are the least expensive to produce, the easiest to dispose of, and the cleanest of the three types. Lead acid batteries are also the least toxic, and can be disposed of in the easiest way possible. Nickel metal hydride batteries come in a close second because it is a good energy density and is very easy to recycle. It is very common, and fairly inexpensive as well.
What lead acid battery should you use? Which type is best? That’s a difficult question to answer, and there is no right answer. As a beginner in the world of batteries, you should definitely start with lead acid batteries. There is no wrong answer, you should just decide how advanced you wish to get.
* Lead acid batteries are the easiest and most common to work with. They are cheap, easy to find, and can be recycled easily.
* If you have the money and want more advanced batteries, you should really consider buying NiMH batteries, these are more expensive, but they are so much safer that you really need to look at them as a special case.
* Lead acid batteries may be a good beginner, but advanced users should really look at NiMH batteries. Advanced users who want a lot of energy, should really try nickel metal hydride batteries. Advanced users should really avoid nickel cadmium batteries, but they are very easy to find and you can recycle them easily. They can even be recycled in the trash. If you want a higher energy density, and don’t care about the waste, you should really consider nickel metal hydride batteries.
* There is no wrong answer for a good all purpose battery. If you want something high tech, advanced, and expensive, choose NiMH batteries, but if you just want energy, recycle your lead acid batteries and find a battery recycling company that accepts them.