Fire safety tests for lithium ion batteries

Scientists are looking into the safety of lithium ion batteries so that they can be used to power large devices such as cars or power grids.

Lithium ions are OK for use in small devices, such as laptops and phones, but there is a risk of fire if they need to power devices with higher energies.

Scientists from France have used a fire calorimeter – a device recognised by US and EU regulating bodies – to get an insight into the fire behaviour of these batteries.

The apparatus provides online analysis of mass loss and combustion gas production (O2, CO, CO2, hydrogen halides, HCN, NOx, SOx, aldehydes, THC). From these data, the rate of heat release, heat of combustion and the mass of burnt products from the combustion tests could be deduced. The data could help in fire simulation tests, say the researchers. They add that the identification and quantification of toxic emissions from combustion gases can be estimated.

As a result, the data could play a part in improving the safety of batteries, they conclude.

Read the Energy & Environmental Science paper today:

Investigation on the Fire-Induced Hazards of Li-ion Battery Cells by Fire Calorimetry
P Ribiere, S Grugeon, M Morcrette, S Boyanov, S Laruelle and G Marlair
Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/c1ee02218k

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