Most often we may find devices that are kept with the batteries in them and with time they leak to release the potassium hydroxide. The first thing when you see a battery leakage is cover your hands and eyes and then remove the batteries. In case of any corrosion, cleaning the device with cotton swabs dipped in mild acid such as vinegar or lemon juice would help in restoration. With some care, you may save the device and use it with a new set of batteries.
Does Battery Corrosion Ruin Electronics?
Some types of batteries may leak fluid and depending on the appliance they are in, they may damage the electronics. So, it is advised to frequently check the batteries of the battery operated devices and change the batteries if any leak is detected. Batteries operate with the use of chemical reactions based on common chemicals such as potassium hydroxide, sulphuric acid. These chemicals may also react with the casing of the battery over time and put holes in the casing through which these materials may leak.
Certain factors that often lead to battery leakage are age, poor quality, heat, deep discharge or repeated use of non-rechargeable batteries. When these chemicals come into contact with the metal casings of the equipment or even plastic, it can cause irreparable damage. Different types of batteries cause corrosion due to different chemical reactions and can be handled in different ways.
Alkaline batteries contain a potassium hydroxide paste in a zinc case. Connecting the batteries to a circuit, ions are developed between the zinc and the paste and create an electric current. Eventually the casing of the zinc deteriorates and the potassium hydroxide leaks out, causing corrosion and cutting the circuit out. The terminals get damaged upon long term contact with the liquid, but if you clean the corrosion early, you can repair the damage.
Sealed lead-acid batteries support appliances such as emergency lighting and uninterrupted power supplies. These batteries are based on sulfuric acid, and do not leak under normal conditions. However, an accidental damage to the outer casing can cause the battery to burst. While cleaning these batteries, you must ensure that you wear proper safety equipment.
Lithium-ion batteries are most commonly used in mobile devices based on reversible chemistry. The chemicals can leak out though such events are very rare. Even if the chemicals leak, they are less likely to react with the electronics as compared to other types of batteries. However, in case of rare events, leakage of lithium batteries may cause explosions and are very dangerous.
Carbon zinc batteries have a similar design as alkaline batteries, but with an ammonium chloride paste and zinc chloride. Similar to alkaline batteries, the paste can wear down the zinc case of the battery, resulting in leakage out and ruining the electronics.
How do you Clean Corrosion off Battery?
A battery can leak and form a corrosion mess ultimately damaging your device. However, cleaning the corrosion is easy if you know the steps and follow the tips. If the corrosion is found early enough, you can prevent permanent damage to the device. People who have a lot of battery operated devices should know how to clean corrosion. Battery leakage occurs if the batteries get too hot and the battery liquid leaks on any surface it touches.The cleaning method depends on the type of the battery.
Cleaning alkaline batteries may be done with cotton swabs dipped in vinegar or lemon juice where the acid may dissolve the corrosion. Alkaline battery leakage occurs mainly due to aqueous potassium hydroxide which is basic. The remaining corrosion can be cleaned with baking soda and water. If the corrosion is extensive, a toothbrush with soft bristles would be more useful. After cleaning, the device should be left to dry.
Nickel cadmium batteries are acid based based on cadmium and nickel oxide hydroxide. This can be easily cleaned with a base such as baking soda. The fluid is highly corrosive and you should take precautions while cleaning the corrosion. The baking soda can be made into a paste and applied to clean the corrosion with a cotton swab and then later cleaned with microfiber cloth.
Lithium batteries mostly present in the phone rarely leak but when they do, it is very dangerous. The lithium leaks should be cleaned with a plain cloth. Lithium batteries can explode and you must dispose off the batteries after cleaning them. You should also be careful never to use alcohol for cleaning these batteries as it can be highly combustible. Devices with a lithium leakage most often cannot be reused for it may be risky.
If the batteries are leaking, it is not advised to reuse them for they may explode or cause fires or cause permanent damage to your device. Even if you want, you can clean and reuse the alkaline and nickel batteries but never the lithium batteries.
How do you Dispose Corrosion Battery?
It is important to dispose of the batteries in a proper process and a proper place. Lithium coin batteries are safe to use but the ingestion of these batteries can be a really serious hazard. You should avoid throwing the batteries in the normal garbage for batteries may release hazardous liquid. The leakage from the batteries may be harmful to those who handle the waste, so it is advised to dispose of them in hazardous waste packets. Many garbage landfills have battery disposable units or you can also find some ports for battery disposal at stores. While disposing of the batteries, you must be careful to not expose your skin or eyes to the leak of hazardous chemicals for they may cause irritation.
The non-hazardous alkaline batteries can be simply disposed off in the garbage. Non-rechargeable batteries do not usually have a recycler. However, even while disposing alkaline batteries, if you are disposing many together, you must consult with your sanitary landfill operator for proper disposal methods. Recyclable batteries can be taken to a recycling drop off location and dispose of in a non-hazardous manner. Hazardous batteries that can be used only once must be disposed in a hazardous waste program bin.
Batteries may corrode with time and cause leakage of toxic materials from the outer shell. So, it is very important to dispose the batteries properly and use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
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