Every year Americans throw away 9.4 million tons of electronics including mobile phones, computers, TVs, fax machines, and more. All of this e-waste represents untapped sources of useful materials like batteries, copper, and even gold. Instead of throwing away old electronics, you can reuse the parts. Here’s how to use magnets to re-purpose old laptop batteries into a battery connector:

Materials

  • 4 Small disc magnets
  • Lithium ion battery from laptop
  • Hot glue
  • 2 Wires
  • Small ring (about 2 cm in diameter) of PVC pipe
  • Smooth, heat-resistant surface

Instructions

Step 1: Remove the batteries from your old laptop. Be extremely careful while removing the batteries. If they become damaged in the process, it could be dangerous to charge them later.

Step 2: Sandwich one end of one of the wires between 2 small disc magnets.

Step 3: Put the magnets with the wire on your smooth, heat-resistant surface. You can hold the magnets in place by putting another magnet on the other side of your surface so they attract through the material.

Step 4: Now, put the small ring of PVC pipe around the magnets holding the wire and fill it with hot glue. The hot glue will stiffen around the magnets and hold them and the wire in place. You want the glue to surround the magnets so once the glue has hardened enough you can remove the PVC pipe and take the magnets off the table.

Step 5: Repeat this process with the other wire and your remaining two magnets.

Step 6: Last, all you have to do is place the battery between the magnets. The magnets secured by hot glue to the wires will attract to either end of the battery and connect it to the conductive wires. So, to use it all you have to do is connect the free ends of the wires to your electronic device and it will charge!

Your magnetic battery connector can be used over and over again with different batteries to charge all of your electronic devices. How else can you use magnets to reduce, reuse, or recycle electronics?

 

Image by Curtis Palmer