Your mobile battery can put your life in great danger..!!
According to a recent report, last year 330 fire accidents occurred from lithium-ion batteries where 48 injury reports have been filed including five death. The usage of lithium batteries is increasing day by day but the security threat is also rising noticeably.
Here the question arises why lithium batteries catch fire and what is the reason behind this. Well, this can’t be described in a line. Some internal manufacturing defects or over-temperature can be the vital point to explain this problem.
Let’s have some brief knowledge about this unknown threat that stays with us all the time.
A Lithium battery quoted “Li-ion battery” on most devices’ battery is a kind of battery, having Lithium as a key element of the battery that stores and provides energy to run a device through electrochemical reactions.
This pioneering modern technology invention is adopted worldwide as a power source to rechargeable devices and electrical devices/ hybrid electrical devices(EVs /HEVs). Lithium-Ion Battery was first introduced to the commercial world by Sony Corporation in 1991.
In a lithium battery, the major component is lithium that stores and supplies energy to the devices. To store/discharge electrical energy, lithium travels through two separated electrodes called anode and cathode. There remains a chemical solution called electrolyte in which the two electrodes are submerged.
This electrolyte is mainly an organic solvent that contains lithium salt. The electrolyte is used as a medium to transfer the lithium ions in between the anode and cathode to generate power. The separator keeps the electrodes away from each other to maintain the discharging of ions from anode to cathode.
When the device needs the energy to run, lithium ions travel from anode to cathode and the opposite is phenomenon occurred when the battery needs to store energy.
Lithium is a metal that can deliver a high amount of energy densities in a very short configuration. When the reaction occurs in the cell to discharge/charge the battery, the temperature rises due to energy gain/loss. Scientists say that the temperature rises up to 271 degrees in a lithium-ion battery.
The reverse voltage created during the reaction is restricted by the electrolyte and anode; due to the resistance, the temperature rises in the battery. There are some facts behind the excess temperature of the battery that causes fire. Let’s learn about them now.
During the making of a battery, the manufacturer company should maintain a strict cleanroom because defective production of metallic particles may get infected by the impurities. This can occur an abnormal temperature in the battery cell.
On the other hand, using thin separators in the cell can occur unwanted situations in the battery. Therefore manufacturer companies should test the batteries with proper observation and sell in the market after complete validation.
Nowadays, with the development of technology, companies are making smaller and thinner devices with maximum performance. As a result, the design of batteries is getting more compact by setting high-capacity cells in a small casing.
In this regard, electrodes or separators in the cell can get damaged by the short size of the body, for example, a short circuit in the battery. Moreover, without the ventilation system in the battery, it can explode due to extra temperature.
If the temperature gets high enough, can occur serious chain destruction of the cells might end up with an explode or large fire.
We have all seen the precaution written on the battery, – “ Keep the battery in a cool and dry place” Yes, there are many examples of accidents that happened due to keeping the battery beside a heat source or fire, it may lead the battery to explode.
If the battery gets penetrated intentionally or accidentally, may cause a short circuit in the cell. Further, chagrin the battery with high voltage or excessive discharge of power from the battery can damage its internal system.
It is encouraged to take proper safety measures and purchase repaired batteries from an authorized battery company.
A defective or low-quality charger can damage the battery surely. A faulty charger can increase heat while charging the battery, which may occur acute failure of the battery.
Using an unofficial charger may create problems in the battery and may suffer to provide long-lasting service.
Using low-quality components in the battery to get more profit can be harmful to the user. While many companies are trying hard to provide the best battery performance in the market, some companies use lower quality components in their batteries to lessen the manufacturing cost and get more profit.
Cutting corners in the manufacturing system of the battery decreases the battery performance as well as increases the exploitation of the battery. Because battery management system plays a key role in protecting the whole system as well as ensuring its performance.
When lithium-ion batteries or lithium metal cells are unable to work properly, they undergo a process that is known as Thermal Runaway.
In this situation, temperature and pressure rise very quickly in the cells of the battery that causing flammable smoke initially. The flammable smoke/gas continues to cause fire due to the increasing temperature in the battery.
Moreover, different micro metal particles (present in the air) provoke fire by getting in touch with the lithium metal gas. This occurrence might take place when a lot of particles participate in the reaction with different parts of the battery.
What To Do If Your Battery Catches Fire
The most common signs to detect your battery health is in danger, is that the battery will be extremely hot and get swelled initially. If you find your battery in this situation, replace the battery as soon as possible before it occurs in an accident.
But what if the battery catches fire?? Let’s solve this problem too..
Here are some guidelines you can consider while your Lithium battery catches fire.
- A fire on lithium-ion batteries can be drenched by water. Don’t get confused by the name, no lithium-ion battery contains any lithium metal. So do not use Class-D Fire Extinguisher to put out the fire.
- This type of fire is considered a Class- B fire, to cope up with this type of fire, try using a Standard ABC or BC dry chemical fire extinguisher needed to put out the fire.
- Aqueous Vermiculite Dispersion (AVD) is a new type of fire extinguisher that douses this type of fire by dispersing exfoliated vermiculite.
- If the fire is too large, then letting it burn will be the best option. Just keep observing that the fire should not get attached to other chemical metals or spread away.
- It will be costly but effective to use copper liquid with water to douse the fire. But it is advised to use water to prevent spreading the fire on a large scale.
The topmost safety measures can be taken by the manufacturing companies for a secured service to their customers. Using advanced layers technology in the battery can highly secure the threat of any exploitation or combustion in the battery.
Further, you can follow some tips/guidelines below to prevent your battery from getting burnt.
- Try not to keep charging the battery after it is fully charged.
- Follow the instructions given on the body of the battery to dispose of it without any risk or unwanted situation.
- Always use the original battery of the device and also the cord to charge.
- Try not to keep all the devices in one place that has a Li-ion battery especially when you are traveling.
- Never keep your device in/beside hot temperature as it increases the chances to create a short circuit in the battery. Better to keep those devices in a fire-resistant container or in a place with enough ventilation.
- Avoid charging your device on the bed or covering it with a blanket or beside a microwave.
- Remove the battery if you notice any swelling/extra heat/discolor of the battery surface.
Warning: Do not try to douse a large fire without any trained fire extinguisher official.
- Do lithium-ion batteries fire need oxygen?
Lithium-ion batteries contain oxygen in the cells. So it is difficult to put out the fire; one can just try to stop the spreading of the fire.
- Will lithium-ion battery will catch fire in water?
Though these batteries have their own flammable materials to burn in the cells, in the water these reactions will not be tough enough to exploit in the water.
- What are the examples of a rechargeable battery?
- At what temperature does a lithium-ion battery explode?
Initially, a li-ion battery saves energy while charging and the outside temperature can be very crucial. Typically in a range of -20℃ ~ 60℃, a lithium-ion battery can create gases and causes fire.
Lithium-ion batteries, a type of rechargeable battery that is hugely used in different devices like mobile phones, laptops, electric cars, etc are some of the examples. But we can not ignore the drawback of this battery as it can be hazardous in many situations. The reason behind this problem is the element that is used in the battery. To ignore fire exploitation as well as learn the precaution, we must need to know the information mentioned briefly in the article.