MIT recycles old car batteries into cheap, long-lasting solar panels

Lead pollution is a serious issue, particularly when looked at from the perspective of thousands of old car batteries that are increasingly unneeded due to changes in the battery technologies used. Researchers at MIT have developed a new way to recycle these batteries, and rather than creating them into new car batteries, they've figured out how to make them into very efficient solar panels.

As represented by the image above, a single old car battery can be recycled into cheap solar panels able to power 30 average households. This is achieved by taking the lead from the batteries and using it to manufacturer solar cells that use perovskite, a compound said to exceed 19-percent efficiency.

Each solar cell needs a very thin sheet of perovskite that MIT says measures in at approximately half of a micrometer in thickness. A single car battery produces enough of this to power the aforementioned houses, and has the added benefit of continuing with the recycling tradition.

These solar panels manufactured from old car batteries can then, themselves, be recycled and made into new solar cells, keeping the potential pollution that would otherwise result at bay. The benefits don't end there, however: the researchers say this process is both simpler and cheaper than common silicon construction.

VIA: Washington Post