See the first few paragraphs of this paper for a bunch of references: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/nprivault/papers/ambient_harvest...
EDIT: No, it's not a dog toy
Nothing less than Kong toys in his world, everything else is a snack.
Of course, all the isotopes suitable for use in an RTG are a) extremely dangerous and b) extremely expensive. Pu-238 makes gold look like dirt price wise, it's around 5-10 million dollars per kilogram and is chemically and radiologically extremely dangerous, but minor details.
The price is actually infinite, since the global supply is somewhere between 20-30kg total. No one will sell you any no matter the price.
Self-discharge isn't much of an issue with LiMn02 batteries, either, at only 1% per year.
And, of course, LiMnO2 cells have the benefits other commentators have mentioned, such as the ability to supply more than just 75 uA short-circuit.
And quick googling shows batteries with a wider positive range.
A "betavoltaic" would deliver full rated capacity at any temperature, regardless of changes or duration.
Someone recently used nickel 63 too.
Yeah the Russians, right? (https://newatlas.com/nickel-nuclear-battery-design/54884)
Some, but not all, of the properties of tritium are somewhat friendly. The half-life is comparatively short at 12.5 years, so it isn't left for future generations. It is a beta-emitter, so shielding is straightforward. The daughter, helium-3, is quite benign. It can be readily encapsulated (see tritiated key fobs).
If it does get loose from encapsulation, it goes everywhere that hydrogen goes, which is largely everywhere. On the plus-side, gaseous tritium mixes and dilutes quickly in the atmosphere. The key is not to ingest concentrated quantities of it. The decay energy is very low, which makes assaying for tritium contamination quite challenging.
If you're looking for e-waste of radiological concern, americium smoke detectors might matter more. I'm not sure.
Compare it to mercury (which some years back was still in batteries), which evaporates easily when heated, stays in your body for very long times (and is cumulative), and has clear neurological impact.
I wouldn't worry about even a large number of those breaking.
To me the bigger environment question is how the tritium is produced and what impacts that might have.
“Releasing 3600 _whole_ electrons! Or even 14400!!!”
(That’s about a billionth of a 1 pico farad capacitor discharging. I suspect you need some reasonably exotic laboratory equipment to even detect 14400 electrons...)
edit: Looks like yes: https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/the-return...
edit again: also this from 2017 https://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/how-to-build...
If it works out, I think this one (https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/environment/a-gl...) is a more promising battery technology in the long run due to lifespan. It appears to be far more preliminary at this point however.
Doing 5.7kV circuits is not your typical power engineering 101
This seems like a very small amount of power with very specific and unusual benefits over other power sources.
• I think some of the lower power BTLE chips can actually advertise continuously for less than 50μA on average
Powered by radioactive battery?
That said, I can't find it online...and gave it away decades ago.
Evidently radium stopped being used for lume in 1970, and while tritium faces may have been a replacement around that time, tritium as used only has a lifespan between 12-24 years.