Originally Posted by def
Lithium batteries are great for cell phones, laptops, UPSs and other similar applications that require small size and light weight. I have a 12VDC Li battery powered drill that is terrific.
As for engine start batteries, I don't believe they are ready yet.
Also, a major LiFePo battery manufacturer just went out of business recently.
I was thinking about using Li batteries for starting my diesel motor home engine. In order to get similar capacity to the lead acid batteries used currently, I would need to spend over $700.00 on lithium batteries.
For engine starting and high capacity, lead-acid is still the best.
But, they sure are heavy and an environmental hazard.
Battery recycling has come a long, long way. Some 97% of the lead in the battery can be extracted and re-used. Electrolytes can be neutralized into water, Hydrogen and less-harmful compounds, other metals used in the battery are also largely recovered. The plastic case itself is capable of being recycled, too.
LiIon can also be recycled, but not as thoroughly. The cathode and anode substrates are Aluminum and Copper - those are easy enough to reclaim. Metal oxides that make up the active material are not so easy to get back, AFAIK, they're treated as Haz Waste.