While there are a number of programs out there looking to properly recycle parts from old and thrown out computers, IBM has an interesting project of its own on the go. The company is now taking old laptop batteries and converting them into useable power sources for developing countries.

A team of researchers at IBM have been working on a device known as UrJar. It takes old lithium-ion batteries from discarded laptops and converts them into something that can power home electronics and lighting, among other things. Along with some added circuitry, UrJar uses the functioning cells from the old batteries, along with added charging connectors to create the recycled power supplies. According to the company 70% off all thrown away batteries can be converted into at least 4 hours of LED lighting everyday day for an entire year. 

The numbers certainly sound like they could make a difference in some places, especially considering IBM isn’t trying to profit from it. This isn’t a commercial product but rather a program the company hopes will improve the quality of life for those in places suffering from “energy poverty.” The program will contribute to reducing the mounds of tech waste we produce every year, on top of helping those in need.

Image via Reuters