I have just read a lovely article on the Euromaidanpress.com website which is an English language independent newspaper launched by Ukrainian Volunteers in 2014.
The article is called “IT team converts used e-cigarettes into power banks for Ukrainian soldiers“.
When I read the headline I was wishing that this was truly the case and used disposables were finding a new useful life again!
Reading on further and yes it is true!
Ivan You Legend!
A chap called Ivan Volynets and his friends in IT decided to create something electronic which would be useful to those fighting the war in Ukraine.
“I bought some tools and decided to return to my first hobby – electronics. I started assembling power banks from components, because I knew that these devices were sorely lacking at the front. But, it wasn’t easy to find such elements and the prices were out of this world! So we started looking into other techniques…”
“We thought that e-cigs contained disposable batteries that could not be re-charged. We took one apart and discovered that was not the case! So, we removed the batteries from the e-cigarettes and created protection modules for them. Thus, by saving money on batteries, we could buy many more components and build many more power banks for our soldiers,”
The gang then put out appeals for empty disposables (in fact Elf Bars) for this mission on their social media! Apparently within days the team were swamped with vapes and had to stop the collection and concentrate on production!
I have been trying to find their posts but could only find Ivan’s Instagram.
His posts are in Ukrainian but using Google translate (which may not be 100% accurate) this is what the above post says…
“Hello everyone, we collect volunteer power banks from smoked e-cigarettes 🔋🔋🔋 For those who smoke in Ukraine, there is a request to collect smoked Elfbar e-cigarettes. Send us a state of emergency and we will give them new life in the form of power banks for the Armed Forces. The devices in the photo have already gone to their new owners in eastern Ukraine Everything will be Ukraine”
The power packs made from the old batteries are used to charge equipment such as Walkie Talkies and phones.
Ivan posted last month that they had constructed the 70th power bank – I imagine that figure has increased since!
The text in the post translated reads…
“Friends, in the photo – already the seventieth 😱 power bank, collected with your help , Sent to our defenders”
What an excellent idea and even local residents got involved with helping with dismantling and assembly!
The longevity of the power banks is unknown but apparently one of Ivan’s army friends told him the first models have been working for over a month so far.
Huge high five to Ivan and his gang, I wish something was around in the UK to make use of discarded vape batteries from Disposables!
Obviously you need to know your stuff to do this safely and it is not recommended to tinker with disposables!