LiPo batteries can catch fire and explode if you don’t handle them carefully. So, if you want to dispose of your damaged or old LiPo battery, you should be very careful to perform the necessary tasks. In order to do this, you should understand how to dispose of a LiPo battery. Otherwise, you could harm yourself or your surroundings. Following this guide can help you know the best ways to prevent such accidents.
What Is A LiPo Battery?
LiPo means lithium polymer. So, the LiPo battery is actually a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery. Generally, people call this battery lithium-poly, Li-poly, LIP, LiPo, etc. Though the battery is made using li-ion technology, the inside mechanism is different here.
Usually, lithium-ion batteries come with a liquid electrolyte to create a reaction when discharging or recharging. But, the LiPo battery doesn’t use a liquid electrolyte to do that. Instead, it comes with a polymer electrolyte formed using gel polymers with high conductivity. Actually, the gel polymers help to make a semi-solid electrolyte that works better than the liquid electrolyte.
Primarily, the usual voltage range of a LiPo battery remains between 3.2 Volts to 4.3 Volts. In case your battery doesn’t provide 3.2V, it may be permanently damaged and won’t be able to be repaired. Furthermore, getting more than 4.2V is a risky situation, and there is a big chance of the battery exploding. If this happens, you should stop using it immediately.
Methods To Dispose Of A LiPo Battery
Nowadays, LiPo batteries are used mostly in RC gadgets, and crashing such a can damage the inside battery in some cases. Besides, overcharging or over-discharging can also make the battery unusable. In effect on such conditions, you cannot use the battery again. That means, you need to dispose of the battery as soon as possible.
Overall, you can divide the disposal tasks into two parts: discharging and disposing of. In other words, you need to discharge the battery first before disposing of it. And, follow the below instructions before making any move.
Sometimes you may have readymade options for disposing of your LiPo battery like a battery recycle center or battery disposal unit. In that case, there is no need to worry about disposing of it on your own. Simply discharging the battery to zero volts is enough, and further things are not your concern.
On the contrary, when you need to dispose of it entirely on your own, we always recommend discharging it before the disposing process to avoid sudden incidents. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways of discharging a LiPo battery.
Using Local Battery Disposal Service
If you have any local battery disposal service around you, you don’t need to think about either discharging or disposing of a lithium-polymer battery. Just call them, and they’ll do whatever is necessary for disposing of the battery. All you have to do is to inform them about the remaining charge or voltage of the battery. Also, don’t forget that using their services will cost you some money.
Using A Lamp Or Bulb
One of the easiest methods of draining a LiPo battery is to use all of its voltages so that no charge can build up again. Because, lithium batteries are not dangerous when they are drained to 0V, and they don’t carry any charge in them. In order to do that, you can use a bulb or lamp to use the remaining charge.
- First, attach wires to the lithium polymer battery so that you can use it for discharging.
- Then, get a bucket outside of your room, and fill it with sand.
- Put the LiPo battery inside the sand and connect the wires to a small LED lamp or bulb.
- When the lamp doesn’t glow anymore, keep the battery connected for at least a day.
- After that, cut the wires and join the positive and negative wires so that no voltage builds up again. This is because a short circuit prevents the battery from creating a charge.
- Now, your LiPo battery is discharged successfully
2. Disposing Of
After you have stabilized your LiPo battery successfully, you can dispose of it safely. In that case, the damaged LiPo battery doesn’t create any risk, and touching the outer side of the battery is totally safe. However, we still recommend you be careful when handling the battery.
Putting In Regular Trash
When the first part of the disposing process is complete, you can simply get rid of the LiPo battery by throwing it away with the wastage. That means, after discharging your lithium polymer battery, put it in the regular trash, and you’re done.
Using Salt Water
The first thing to remember, saltwater creates a conductive mixture that can discharge a LiPo battery. But, people don’t prefer it due to its slow processing. So, you should keep a lot of time on your hand when choosing this disposal method. On the positive side, you actually immerse the battery into the water, making the process safer.
- Firstly, find a plastic container that you’ll throw away after completing the disposal process.
- Fill the plastic container with cold water and add salt to it according to the ratio of 30g salt per liter.
- Mix the solution perfectly and put the battery slowly into the solution.
- Keep the battery in a fireproof place for around 15 days. If the battery has about 90% charge remaining, you should double the waiting time.
- After completing the waiting period, move the battery from the solution and wrap it using paper. And, finally, throw it into the trash bag, including the container. Because, the plastic container will not be usable after completing this process.
As has been noted that disposing of a LiPo battery is an essential step of RC or drone device maintenance. Make sure you discharge the battery before disposing of it. People may suggest you physically destroy the lithium battery. Though it is a quick process, we strongly advise you to avoid this method if you don’t want to face any accidental fire and explosion.