Whether it is a faulty electronic device or an old model, it can happen that the battery swells.
This chemical phenomenon with sometimes impressive consequences (frames can go so far as to burst with the pressure) is inevitable. But then why do the batteries swell? And how to proceed when a device is found in this state? We tell you everything.
Why do batteries swell?
Before knowing how to handle devices with a swollen battery, it is important to know why this phenomenon exists. The vast majority of our electronic devices contain lithium-ion batteries.
Behind this name hides an accumulator whose operation is based on chemical reactions, with cells. Since these lithium-ion batteries rely on chemical reactions, gases may escape. This phenomenon causes the battery to swell, sometimes slightly, sometimes more significantly. It even happens that the battery swells to the point of cracking the chassis. In the most extreme cases, a poorly designed battery can even catch fire (hello Samsung).
How to handle a swollen battery?
If you find a device with a swollen battery, you should be very careful first. Before handling, put on a pair of gloves, the swelling of the battery may cause loss of liquids.
Above all do not try to light the device damaged and limit handling. Also don’t try to recharge it, the chemical reaction could prove to be dangerous (up to fire or even explosion, for example). Either way, a swollen battery is bound to be unrecoverable. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw it in the regular trash can.
Can a swollen battery be replaced?
Yes, you can choose to replace your swollen battery first. In this case, we recommend that you go through an authorized repairer. Indeed, most electronic devices no longer have removable batteries and very specific tools are used to open current devices. Above all, some components may be damaged during opening. So be careful.
Even if your device has a removable battery, replacing a swollen battery is still dangerous. Battery fluids may have leaked into the rest of the components. Also, a professional is more recommended for this kind of manipulation.
Where and how to recycle a swollen battery?
If your device is really too old to repair, then you will need to recycle the swollen battery. Indeed, the batteries are made of hazardous materials but also recyclable. But then how to recycle them? To find out where to bring your devices with swollen batteries, you can first contact the customer service of the manufacturer of the damaged device.
In effect,“Producers of household electrical and electronic equipment are responsible for the removal and treatment of household WEEE collected selectively on national territory, including in the Overseas departments and in the Overseas collectivities for which the national regulations apply” can we read on the website of the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
This therefore means that manufacturers are obliged to offer a take-back program for your old devices either on their own or through a partner. The after-sales and/or customer service will therefore inform you of the procedure to follow.
There is also another way to recycle a swollen battery. The Ministry of Ecological Transition lists on its website organizations that can direct you to where you can drop off this type of device. Often, the recycling centers around your home have a secure space to store these batteries.
Now you know why the batteries of your electronic devices can swell and how to go about disposing of them safely.
I am a journalist with over 6 years of experience working in the news industry. I currently work as an author for Global Happenings, and my coverage focuses on Technology news. I have written for various publications, including Reuters, The New York Times and The Guardian.
Quora – Discord – Pinterest – Medium – Tumblr