[aprssig] RE: OT: Prius Battery Life and Replacement Cost (was:ControlHead Thieves)

Mark Fellhauer sparkfel at qwest.net
Wed Aug 29 20:15:48 CDT 2007

At 02:56 PM 8/28/2007, Robert Bruninga wrote:

>2) The Prius uses Nickle-metal Hydride which is 97% (something
>like that) non polluting and re-cyclable.  It is only nickel and
>maybe some trace metals.  Compared to NiCd, which is well known
>to be a big, big polluter.  Again, they ignored the facts and
>just wrote to who was paying them.
>We need to get back on topic.  But the truth about the
>environmental improvement of NIMH over NICD is worthwhile for
>anyone that uses batteries.  Do not discard NICD in the trash!
>Recycle properly. Don't trash NIMH either, because they are 97%
>(or something like that recyclable)...

Again not to get too far off topic, but the subject of batteries and 
environmental costs impacts a hobby so reliant on batteries...

Nickel is not non-polluting, the mining and refining/extraction of nickel 
is a nasty process.  Nickel is usually mined in conjunction with 
copper.  Phelps-Dodge (now Freeport McMoRan) has been identified as the 
23rd largest corporate air polluter in the United States by the University 
of Massachusetts.

Having dealt with plating operations I can tell you nickel is a poison by 
inhalation, ingestion, or even dermal contact.  It is a known carcinogen, 
teratogenic, and mutagenic.  Even very small amounts of nickel can cause 
death in humans.    I cite "Sax - Dangerous Properties of Industrial 
Materials"   I have handled Nickel Acetate which can cause 
near-instantaneous death in humans in doses as small as 3ppm/cubic feet in air.

Just because something is 97% recyclable by weight doesn't mean 
anything.   It doesn't mean it's easily recyclable, it doesn't mean the 
recycling process doesn't pollute, and it doesn't mean it's cost-effective 
to recycle.   And it says nothing about the other 3%.

Without going into examples and getting people farther astray - just about 
anything you do to "save the environment" involves robbing Peter to pay 
Paul.   Anybody here want to live next door to a NiMH battery plant?  Or 
put an elementary school next to one?   I thought not...



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