Energizer, for non-rechargeable lithium batteries

So I use a few batteries. I have a nifty recharger and put rechargeable AA’s into a few gadgets. I have a few more batteries than I need so that I don’t have to be anal about recharging all the time. But acquire a few more gadgets and suddenly there are no spare batteries in circulation.

So! The other day I noticed lithium AA batteries at the store. Ah! I thought. I bet those will last even longer than the ones I have now, and would be a worthy addition to my battery circulation scheme! After all, the lithium battery in the camera lasts wayyy longer than the previous type, they use these for electric cars, yada yada.

That should be the end of the story. Except for the fact that the other day, while using the lithium batteries, my gadget crapped out. What the?!? Well no prob, I’ll just recharge 'em. No results. I looked at the fine print to discover that these are not rechargeable lithium AA batteries!. And they didn’t even last that long in the first place.

Who in their right mind would make disposable lithium batteries??? Do these people not understand that lithium is a rare earth metal, and that it is severely uncool to create a process that moves it into landfills after a single use? Having a nice supply of this material will help with the goal of mass producing ev’s, as they make for such high-quality, lightweight rechargeable batteries. Energizer isn’t helping!

In fact, they must be on the same axis of evil as GM (the ultimate foot-dragger in ev production, certainly because they have major oil interests. (And don’t put the Volt in my face, it’s bullshit!)) and George W (remember, the guy who perverted national policy to benefit oil interests?). You know, the axis of evil that would thwart movement away from fossil fuels to make a buck and damn the consequences.

Fine! I think I’ve already made up my mind. Theirs is blatantly irresponsible corporate behavior. I don’t think I’ll be doing any more business with Energizer. What’s that, Energizer? You don’t care? Well screw you :mad:

I’m no battery expert, but i was under the impression that non-rechargeable lithium batteries are not at all uncommon. I’m pretty sure i have one in my watch.

Lithium batteries have been around for decades, and there are hundreds of companies that make or have made them.

Also, lithium is not a rare-earth metal. Nor is it all that rare. Nor, for that matter, are rare-earth metals all that rare.

There is about half as much lithium in the earth’s crust as there is zinc, which is used in standard disposable alkaline batteries. Since lithium batteries generally last longer than alkaline batteries, it works out to about the same. Certainly not worth getting so worked up about.

Most manufacturers make some form of non-rechargeable lithium batteries. I know Duracell does.

I did some math that determined it is perhaps 10x more common than gold by mass. Not exactly a super-abundance, or am I mistaken?

The watch doesn’t bother me. The application justifies lithium, and anyway the thing will last for years, no? My AA lithium batteries were actually inferior, besides not being rechargeable.

You were probably using them in the wrong application as well. Lithium and alkaline batteries are better at different things.

Much ado over nothing to see here.


Lithium is about 20,000x more common than gold by mass.

Its been a few years and things change, but basically if you want the MOST power per weight, you go with disposable lithium batteries.

So, they certainly have their niche.

The last time I used disposable lithium batteries, I was using it in my film camera to power the flash. Lithium excels at short, infrequent power drains like that.

Thats what I used em for. At the time IIRC they were something like 5 times the cost of a good akaline, but lasted 2 to 3 times longer. So, while they were a bit more expensive, I carried significantly few of them. And they are noticably lighter as well to boot on a one on one comparision, so the weight savings is even greater still.

And one must keep in mind there are different types of lithium batteries. Lithium-Sulfur Dioxide, Lithium (akaline like), and Lithium Ion (rechargeables).

The first 2 are generally not considered rechargeable.

Lithiums are much better in cold weather - they often get used in skiing and backpacking gear (but not avalanche beacons which are designed to work with alkalines).

Er, non-rechargeable lithium batteries are designed specifically for applications that rechargeable batteries would fail at. They have very long shelf lives and are used in devices where you don’t want to be replacing batteries all the time. You don’t want to be pulling out your car key fob and discovering that it needs recharging.

So, it’s Energizer’s fault that you didn’t read the package, eh? That’s neat how that works.

Upon further ponder, I want to tenatively retract the statement that on a per wieght basis disposable lithiums are the best.

Lithium Ions may be better these days, but they have some issues. Different things for different reasons and all that.

The non rechargeable lithiums are great for emergency things like say a flashlight you keep in your car. They tolerate heat well and have a long shelf life and work great in cold as well, none of which alkalines do. And unlike rechargeables, they dont self discharge just sitting around. And again, the non-rechargeable lithiums have more energy in them.

Low discharge NiMH get around the majority of this problem. In a year they still have 90% of their juice, IIRC.

By now you all can see just how vexing all this really is:
-First I have an experience like this
-I’m out $10 bucks with nothing to show for it
-I’ve been duped into disposing of rare, valuable lithium as part of Energizer’s scheme. Yah, let’s throw away all the available lithium so it isn’t available for ev’s, then let’s put T Boone Pickens in as secretary of energy and convert the whole economy to one that runs on fuel cells burning hydrogen extracted from natural gas. That way the petrochemical companies can continue to exert disproportionate influence. Thanks guys, glad to be a part of that!
-It’s led to something of a misfire of a thread and publicly cast me into a vast web of my own ignorance about the whole subject :mad:

That is interesting. Are you sure you’re correct, gold being so much more massive per atom? You probably are and my math was terrible :mad:

This doesn’t seem to jibe with the kinds of stories I read about lithium. I get the impression that it is concentrated in either Bolivia or China (who isn’t sharing), and scattered like buckshot around the rest of the globe, or else in the heart of Old Faithful and destroying Yellowstone would cause a conflict with the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt extracting it. The Bolivians are portrayed as angry natives who are not interested in sharing their lithium, which is so remotely located anyway that it has to be carefully trotted down the Andes on the backs of mules while the angry fringe element takes pot shots at foreigners. You’re saying there is much more lithium around than that?

Also, the figures don’t seem to add up to greater frequency= greater availability. If lithium is 17ppm, compare that to the much rarer uranium which is 1.8 ppm. Uranium is being produced at a rate of 45,000 tons per year. Lithium is currently at 39,000 tons. If lithium is 10x more common, what explains its production being less than that of uranium? Simply a more established market, and we can expect 450,000 tons of lithium per year in the future? Or is lithium a pain to extract, even if it does represent a larger share of the Earth’s crust?

It’s not a scheme. They sell a product that is designed to be used in certain specialized applications. It’s not their fault that you paid extra for lithium batteries and stuck them in your TV remote, or whatever.

Less demand for lithium than uranium?

Gawd, I love the international free market system.

That, and the smell of napalm in the morning.

Your probably right. Its been about a decade since I really obsessed about battery specs. Just make SURE they are good NiMHs AND the low discharge kind AND make sure you throw in the charger once in awhile.

For those interested, if you REALLY want to use rechargables, those in the know seem to be saying you need a GOOD smart charger to manage your rechargeable battery herd. Any old charger from the store aint gonna cut it and will likey mess up rechargables medium/long term. So, some internet research might be in order for those interested.