Sony develops mercury-free alkaline button cell

The new batteries will be available from September.

Sony has developed a new type of alkaline manganese button-cell that contains no mercury and will put it on sale later this year, it said Wednesday.

Alkaline manganese cells are commonly used in cameras, remote controls and calculators and are one of several types of button-cell batteries, so-called because the small, round, metal-cased batteries look similar to buttons.

When not properly disposed of, mercury can contaminate groundwater supplies and enter the food cycle. In sufficient quantities it can cause serious neurological problems, birth defects and death.

A small quantity of mercury is typically used in the batteries to prevent zinc anode erosion, which occurs when it is exposed to the alkaline solution in the battery and results in the creation of hydrogen gas inside the battery. A build-up of hydrogen could cause the battery to rupture and leak, so mercury is typically added to impede erosion of the anode and stop the creation of gas.

In the new battery Sony has added a gas absorbing material into the battery's cathode to compensate for the lack of mercury and prevent a gas build-up, it said.

The mercury-free alkaline manganese button-cell comes four years after Sony developed a mercury-free silver oxide button-cell. Together, those two changes will eliminate 470 kilograms of mercury a year from Sony's battery production.

With the development, Sony is mercury-free in three of its four families of button cells. Mercury is still required in zinc-air batteries, typically used in hearing aids. The remaining type of button-cell, lithium ion, has never contained mercury.

The mercury-free Sony batteries will hit international markets beginning in September and will go on sale in Japan on Oct. 10, Sony said. They will cost around ¥200 (US$2) each in Japan, while overseas pricing has yet to be determined.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Batterysony

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?