You know those little portable electronics devices you like to carry around? They require power – often in the form of removable batteries – to operate. While that’s not a big shocker, you should consider for a moment the type of AA or AAA batteries you are using. Are they rechargeable? Do they charge in an adequate amount of time and provide your MP3 player with plenty of playback time? Are the batteries themselves made from environmentally-friendly materials?
One battery company striving for a better environmentally-friendly rechargeable battery that is more powerful is PowerGenix. It has developed a line of “nontoxic, high performance Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) rechargeable batteries” it feels will “provide advanced performance and leading environmental credentials to satisfy green gadget users and eco-moms alike.” These batteries are said to deliver a 30 percent power increase compared to regular AA rechargeable batteries, be non-toxic and more easily recyclable. EarthTechling caught up with PowerGenix CEO Dan Squiller recently to get his thoughts on his company’s new product.
EarthTechling: Tell us a little about PowerGenix.
Dan Squiller: Sure. PowerGenix is a cleantech battery developer and manufacturer based in San Diego, CA. We’ve developed a rechargeable Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) battery that is the first new commercial battery chemistry in over 20 years, and more powerful than incumbent rechargeables while also completely nontoxic and safe.
PowerGenix is targeting a diverse range of applications for our NiZn technology, ranging from consumer electronics to power tools to the transportation industry.
ET: Your company is known for its Nickel-Zinc batteries targeting non-electronics markets. Talk a little about the technology behind your batteries and why you feel they are eco-friendly.
DS: The environmental benefits of Nickel-Zinc batteries are really two-fold. First, it’s about having a cleaner environmental alternative to rechargeable batteries. PowerGenix’s batteries contain no toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury, while our batteries also have the highest recyclability of rechargeable chemistries on the market—they’re also easily recycled at more than 30,000 electronics recycling drop-off points in North America.
Second, PowerGenix’s Nickel-Zinc batteries are the first rechargeable capable of replacing disposable (single-use) batteries, reducing e-waste. Our batteries provide distinct advantages over standard rechargeable batteries due to the higher voltage in a single cell, (1.6V NiZn versus 1.2V for Nickel-Metal Hydride or Nickel-Cadmium). The higher voltage means consumer electronic devices that currently rely on one-time use alkaline batteries (which deliver 1.5V), can now be powered reliably with rechargeable NiZn.
In total, it’s a combination of a more environmentally responsible battery chemistry and offering electronics users the opportunity to expand their use of rechargeable batteries, ultimately saving money and resources.
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