Proper Disposal of Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium Ion Batteries Don’t Belong in Dumpsters
In the past we’ve seen situations like exploding hover boards, phones and other electronic devices malfunctioning. While many people assume the product design is the cause of these explosions, it’s actually the lithium batteries used to power them. Lithium ion technology has revolutionized battery consumption, because of their long life span and versatility. However they can also be extremely dangerous if handled or disposed of incorrectly.
Hazards of Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium ion batteries should never be thrown away in a dumpster. These batteries were created and released to the market in 1991, the potential hazards inherent to lithium ion technology have been well-known and documented. Lithium ion battery systems are extremely energy-dense, meaning they carry an increased measure of danger if they are handled improperly.
Damage of the protection circuit – Static electricity discharges can destroy the protection circuit of a lithium ion battery and battery is no longer safeguarded from improper usages, such as overcharging.
Cold temperature charging – Consumer-grade lithium ion battery systems should be charged below 32°F. The anode of the battery becomes compromised if charged in sub-freezing temperatures, making them far more susceptible to failures following impacts, crushing, or frequent charging.
Explosions and fire – lithium ion batteries have the potential for thermal runaway, which basically means that as heat builds inside the battery, a domino effect causes more heat generation, and ultimately the battery becomes unstable and explodes. Frequent use and charging can rapidly build heat inside the battery, and exposing the battery to fires or other sources of heat can result in violent explosions.
Toxic exposure – the electrolytes inside lithium ion cells contain toxic halogens, and damaged lithium ion cells may be harmful to humans if they come into contact with these toxic substances.
For these reasons alone, it is best if you find a local recycling facility that can properly and safely dispose of the lithium ion batteries. We know it may be tempting to just toss it in the dumpster, of course it’s easier to do just that, but doing so can endanger others as well as our environment.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful! Call us at Waste Solutions 123 if you have any more questions or concerns about your waste disposal needs!