When lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles are damaged or defective, they must be transported to expensive explosion-proof containers for recycling/disposal, according tomedia. But, according to a new study, the batteries will soon be frozen. The danger of transporting damaged lithium-ion batteries is that they may enter a state of thermal loss, a phenomenon in which the battery suddenly releases all stored energy, causing its temperature to rise rapidly. As a result, the battery may catch fire, explode and release toxic gases.
For this reason, batteries must be placed in explosion-proof containers for transport – however, these containers are not cheap. Scientists at the University of Warwick in the UK point out that a container that can hold a “Tesla battery-sized device” costs about 10,000 euros. In addition, it was reported that the united Nations certification required for the container would cost an additional 10,000 euros.
With this in mind, researchers at the university worked with engineers from Jaguar Land Rover to quickly freeze liquid nitrogen and store lithium-ion batteries for two weeks. Once these batteries are thawed, it is found that the freezing process does not affect their energy or service life. In addition, the use of nails to pass through these batteries will not fire or explode.
The transportation process will require some power because the battery must remain at at least minus 35oC. However, the simple plastic transport containers involved cost only about 200 pounds, which, in general, makes the entire unit much less expensive than the traditional explosion-proof containers.
Dr Thomas Grandjean, of the University of Warwick, said: “Transporting damaged and defective batteries is an expensive and unsustainable process, but being able to freeze them with liquid nitrogen can save thousands of pounds and make electric car manufacturers more sustainable. “
A paper on the study was recently published in Journal of Energy Storage.