This page aims to be a useful collection of resources for those in the 18650 battery recycling, and battery pack assembling space.

There are many places you can find data sheets online. However, with used cells, there may be times where you come across a model number that doesn't seem to exist. It may be useful to consult the SLS (second life storage) cell database.

The website https://lygte-info.dk has some fantastic data (and spec sheet info) about the more popular cells. They usually have a bunch of different charge/discharge etc tests at different rates and all of the graphs are published. This is a great way to find out how a cell will perform in certain situations. They also have all of the “important” cell info pulled from the data sheet so you don't have to go through pages to find what you're looking for. It's best to search for “cell_model lygte” on Google and if they have that cell on their site, it will show up.

The “lygte-info” site also has a very useful cell comparison tool available here. You can select two cells and compare them on the same graph.

New Cells

eBay sellers (be very cautious, few sellers have genuine cells) - “tech around you” sold Jaimyn non genuine LG MJ1 cells but happily returned them.

Battery Bro - American team in Hong Kong that have a genuine cell guarantee, they seem to be decent but as of yet are not verified by HSBNE members.

Used Cells

Used cells are often available for a fraction of the price of new cells. With thorough testing you can build packs with very similar reliability and characteristics as new cells.

HSBNE Battery Recycling Program (HSBNE Porthack) - we've partnered with an undisclosed (NDA in place) company that is a reliable source of used power tool batteries. Most of the cells we get from this source come in the original power tool plastic case and the cells/BMS need to be stripped out and separated. The most common cells we find are Samsung 25R and a mixture of Sony VTC2 or Sony VTC5(a). Please contact Jaimyn (@jabelone) or Lucas (@badbiki) if you'd like cells from this source. We receive on average about 0.5kWh per week and this amount must be shared between members who are interested in cells at the time.

Substation 33 (Logan) - they have an 18650 recycling program. Almost all of their cells come from laptop battery packs so these are more suitable for low powered applications like power banks and larger capacity or lower draw DIY power walls. I think for small amounts they may give them to you, but for larger amounts you may have to pay. Mention you're a HSBNE member and they will look after you.

DO NOT throw them in the bin

It is illegal, unsafe, and very bad for the environment to dispose of any lithium based rechargeable batteries in a normal household waste bin. You should try to avoid collecting cells that aren't usable as the more you have, the harder it is to get rid of them. If you must throw them away, it's recommended to discharge them in a bucket of very salty water for at least a few days then insulate the ends with tape and throw them out. However, HSBNE strongly recommends taking your damaged/unusable/old cells to a recycling centre - there are many options.

Recycling Centres

Battery World - all battery world stores around inner Brisbane (except for the Albion one) have confirmed that they will accept small amounts of individual 18650 cells. If they ask questions just say you took apart a few power tool or laptop battery packs (which you probably did) out of interest.

Council waste recovery (ie the tip) - most (all?) Brisbane city council tips will accept any number of 18650s cells for recycling. You'll have to pay normal tip rates (approx $10 for the first 100kg). This is a good option if you have a large amount of cells to get rid of. However, it's best to get rid of cells as soon as practical so you don't have to dispose of, or store, large quantities of potentially dangerous/damaged cells.

Before taking your unwanted cells to a recycling centre, you should follow these tips to make it safer for everyone involved.

  • Never dispose of cells that are more than 50% full, discharge them first to the minimum voltage you safely can.
  • Try to leave the PVC shrink wrap and round insulating cap attached to the cell.
  • Lay your cells side to side in groups of about 10 and tape them up so they can't move. Make sure you insulate both ends with tape so they can't be shorted out.
  • Bring your cells in small plastic bags like shopping bags. They are heavy so it's best to make sure each bag doesn't have too many cells.
  • Always tell the staff that you're disposing of lithium based batteries as they may have special procedures etc in place.
  • Don't take cells to the same battery world every week - they'll start to ask questions. Battery world will only dispose of “normal household quantities” so if you go the same place too often they may ask you to stop.
  • resources/18650s
  • Last modified: 3 years ago
  • by jabelone