• Published: 21 Mar 2024

Lithium Batteries in the Energy Sector

Lithium Batteries in the Energy Sector
Lithium Batteries in the Energy Sector

Description of Incident

As the energy industry is growing and diversifying, so are its needs—and lithium batteries meet many of them. Their high energy density provides larger and longer-lasting amounts of energy than other batteries. Despite their common use in various consumer and industry products, lithium batteries still pose several hazards, primarily fires and explosions.

Due to their high energy density, explosions and fires from lithium batteries are rapid, intense and can result in violent releases of stored energy. These fires can also be made worse by thermal runaway or the production of dangerous gases and chemicals.

Thermal runaway occurs when heat generated by a battery's internal processes create a feedback loop of further heat generation that rapidly raises temperatures, causing explosions. These combustions can create hazardous gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and phosphorus pentafluoride, as well as other volatile organic compounds.

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