Recycle and Sell Laptop Batteries

This requires both caution and some expertise as you will be working with the internals of laptop batteries.

People think that if a laptop battery no longer works that it is dead, this is not the case. Usually a laptop battery contains six lithium-ion cells (aka 18650 battery) inside the battery pack; generally there are 2 rows and three cells in each row. Now if two of these cells die the entire battery will “die” but in reality there will still be four good cells left that can be reused to either fix another battery or to which two new cells can be added to fix the current battery.

Process (simplified)
1. Carefully remove the cells from the battery enclosure
2. Use a multimeter to determine which cells are dead (cells with a reading of below 3V should be carefully discarded), anything with a reading above 3V is fine.
3. Rebuild battery pack using new cells.

Laptop battery pack
Laptop battery pack

The biggest challenge is to get a supplier of dead laptop batteries; your best bet is to offer to collect and “recycle” batteries on behalf of people or companies. The other option is to buy the batteries from e-waste companies.

Equipment Multimeter, Charger
Materials “Dead” laptop batteries
Guides How to Recycle Old Laptop Battery
Recycle Your Dead Old Laptop Battery

Getting good cells from laptop batteries: 
How to separate good cells from bad ones: 

Setup cost From R200 (multimeter cost), you will need a charger to charge cells as well.
Sector Recycling

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4 comments on Recycle and Sell Laptop Batteries

  1. You could add that if the cells voltage is all the same then the battery’s, Battery Management System (BMS) may be suspect as well, in this case you would probably require a new battery pack. As for the 18650s give them to me. 🙂

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