If you think a lot about the increasing piles of electronic waste, courtesy increasing number of laptops, smartphones etc, then you surely have thought about some way of reusing the electronic trash. Researchers at IBM Research India in Bangalore, are already thinking of ways to re-use the batteries of a trashed laptops. How? To light up an electric bulb for one full year. An interesting use, particularly for the developing World. The reuse seems doable, keeping in mind the availability of low power consuming CFL and LED technologies.
What IBM Researchers at Bangalore did?
The researchers tore open discarded laptop battery packaging and extracted individual storage units called cells. Picked the good cells and recombined them to form refurbished battery packs. After that they added charging dongles as well as circuitry to prevent overheating.
They gave these packs, to five families in roadside slums. Three months later, they went to the families to take their feedback. They found the batteries working well.
Currently, the Researchers are not thinking of making the use commercially viable. Obviously, the commercial viability needs funding and cost effective manufacturing methods. They are thinking to provide it for free, providing four hours of light a day for a household for an entire year. Commendable.