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2 Waste Management Solutions for the Storage and Transportation of Lithium-Ion Batteries

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For waste management providers, these specialist storage and transportation solutions are key to safe, effective lithium-ion battery waste disposal.

Hidden inside e-cigarettes, used mobile phones, and even electric cars, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are filling waste disposal sites. As we recently explored in another article, the large volume of Li-ion batteries entering our waste streams is creating a growing problem for public and private companies tasked with safely handling and disposing of them. 

There are several reasons for this: 

  • Li-ion batteries require specialist processing, which many sites don’t currently support. A site’s inability to process Li-ion battery waste can reduce its efficiency and limit its ability to maintain an effective waste management and disposal service.
  • Li-ion technology is poorly regulated. Inconsistent regulations or the lack of legislation altogether in some cases leads to a knowledge gap and uncertainties.
  • Li-ion batteries can catch fire or explode if not handled responsibly, putting a site’s employees, its premises, its local community and the environment at risk. 

Required to process waste but unsure of the appropriate measures, how should waste management companies proceed in a way that is safe, responsible, and effective?

Over the past two years we’ve developed a wide range of specialist Li-ion storage and transportation solutions to help companies from all industries contain this risk. While the issue of safely disposing of Li-ion batteries extends beyond their storage and transportation, these two areas are vital to their safe handling and disposal. In this article, find out how.Black-DO-PTB620-1

About the author

My name is Ben Seddon and since 2007 I’ve helped a wide range of industrial, institutional, educational, and commercial customers from across the UK source the Emtez solutions they need to comply with key legislation and keep their people safe. Today, these solutions include spill kits, absorbents, flammable liquid containers, and specialist lithium-ion battery storage solutions designed to contain and control lithium-ion battery fires in the event of an incident.

For more information about Li-ion battery storage solutions, download your copy of our Lithium-Ion Catalogue for free now.CH-L1 Closed Blue

Quarantine batteries and suppress fires with the Emtez LithiumVault Cabinets

Emtez LithiumVault Cabinets provide a secure storage solution specifically designed for Li-ion batteries included in items such as e-bicycles, electric toothbrushes, and disposable vapes. In waste management environments specifically, this range of cabinets provides a contained space in which waste Li-ion batteries can be safely and reliably stored for processing. 

Its standard safety features lend it excellently to this application, where high volumes of waste batteries and busy work sites require durable solutions with specialist features designed to contain, quarantine, and suppress Li-ion batteries in the event of a fire.Steel-CE-GSTB120-Open-1

LithiumVault FirePro® Cabinets extinguish fire risk

LithiumVault FirePro® Cabinets are so called for their innovative fire suppression system. Quick science: when a fire starts, the FirePro® generator is activated by a bulb thermal sensor. Liquid in the bulb expands until, at 70°C, the glass bulb bursts, causing the release of an active agent. This floods the cabinet in 10 seconds to suppress the ongoing fire. 

Extinguishing occurs by blocking the chemical reactions within the flames. This neutralising action prevents the formation of highly flammable gases such as hydrogen, allowing the temperature in the unit to drop below the threshold necessary for a thermal runaway to sustain itself.

Related read: What Is Thermal Runaway? Common Causes and How to Prevent It 

For sites with high volumes of batteries or heightened fire risks, the FirePro® Cabinet offers waste handlers the most robust solution, backed by an active agent with a 15-year life.DO-PTB120-1

Operational peace of mind with LithiumVault Quarantine Cabinets

When it comes to safeguarding your people and ensuring a secure waste disposal environment, Emtez presents its LithiumVault Quarantine Cabinets. Beyond our cabinets’ conventional safety measures, this solution is equipped with an innovative, built-in quarantine water tank system that takes fire protection to a whole new level.

In the event of a fire, the cabinet automatically triggers a safety response, again at 70°C, that tips over all shelves. This plunges the batteries into a specially designed water tank at the cabinet's base. As soon as it’s immersed, the fire will be rapidly extinguished, and the potential risk of subsequent self-combustion will be effectively eliminated. 

In a high-risk environment like waste disposal, where the batteries in question may well have become damaged over the course of their journey to the processing facility, if they were not already faulty to begin with, this unit ensures the containment of fire-related dangers.Quarantine open 1 door battery blue

Industry-standard protection with Emtez LithiumVault Cabinets

Even our standard Emtez LithiumVault Cabinets provide a secure storage solution specifically designed for lithium-ion batteries. With a wide range of sizes at your disposal, upgrading your site with an appropriate storage solution is as simple as selecting the right fit for your operations.

We offer short cabinets designed to fit in small/low spaces up to tall, two-door cabinets with ample room for sites handling larger volumes. The cabinets are ideally suited to the storage of a wide variety of Li-ion battery types, including batteries from power tools, e-bikes, e-scooters, drones, cosmetic appliances, and even waste medical equipment.

Standard safety features include a 1-1.5mm thick cold-pressed sheet steel coated with anti-acid epoxy powder for added durability, a specialised insulation layer capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 800°C, and a self-closing door system that comes into play when temperatures rise beyond 47°C, prioritising your people’s safety.

All cabinets are certified for 90-minute fire resistance according to the EN 14470-1 TYPE 90 standard. In the event of either an internal or external fire, they’ll provide 90 minutes of protection, giving ample time for the emergency services to arrive.CH-L5F2P Closed Blue

LithiumVault Transport Boxes explained

Transport small lithium-ion batteries safely and securely with our small battery transports, building safety and resilience across your waste operations, wherever your batteries go.

Considering their potential for energy release and the heightened risk that comes with these batteries when damaged, faulty, or otherwise disposed of, we’ve developed a range of transport solutions to maximise safety and resilience, wherever your batteries are headed.

Waste moves, a challenge not faced to the same degree by many of the other industries leveraging Li-ion batteries across their operations. To protect yours, our LithiumVault Lightweight Transport Boxes have been designed with ease of movement in mind. 

  • Each unit is engineered with a substantial 140mm ground clearance and strategically tailored to facilitate seamless manoeuvring by both pallet trucks and forklifts.
  • Our focus on practicality eliminates the weight concerns and cost factors often associated with conventional containers. 
  • AkkuGrain® Bags come as standard with all Emtez LithiumVault Lightweight Transport Boxes. In the event of a fire, these neutralise hazardous substances like hydrofluoric acid and lithium hydroxide, rendering them harmless.

Rest assured that your lithium-ion batteries are secure during transit, all while maintaining a design that facilitates easy handling for carriers. 

Compliant with: ADR SP376 and P911Steel 120L  Open with battery

Emtez LithiumVault Steel Transport Boxes: strong and safe

For the safe transportation of hazardous waste falling into packing groups I, II, and III we have developed the Emtez LithiumVault Steel Transport Boxes, hot-dip galvanised steel transportation boxes offering UN-certified protection to damaged batteries headed for disposal. Li-ion batteries might not be highly regulated but transportation is, so in order to comply with the regulation they’re supplied with two 55L bags of expanded glass granules.

  • By serving as a diluent in the surrounding air, our solution effectively mitigates the risk of fires and explosions, ensuring safer environments in critical settings.
  • Our technology helps convert highly toxic byproducts from batteries and accumulators into safer compounds, an environmentally conscious approach that promotes a safer world.
  • Our solution extends its safety coverage to hydrocarbons (HC), hydrogen, and methane, rendering them non-flammable and nonexplosive.

These boxes combine cutting-edge technology with material strength, making them the perfect choice for both storage and seamless transport needs.

Compliant with: ADR SV376/P908 & SV377/P909Black 600L with Akkugrain

Lithium-ion battery waste disposal made simpler

Safety is only one part of the transformation project to process Li-ion battery waste. But it’s an important part without which your people, premises, and the local environment are at risk.

Upgrading to handle waste Li-ion batteries could future-proof your operations. But even if you don’t plan to dispose of these battery types yourself, the fact that they have made their way into all manner of waste streams means you need the ability to handle and transport them safely around your site.

From cabinet-sized units to walk-in rooms, our Li-ion storage solutions come in a wide range of types and sizes. To futureproof your operations and your service, get in touch and discuss your specific Li-ion waste management requirements with us today.

To chat with me about any of the solutions described above, or to request a bespoke Li-ion battery containment solution, click the image below and get in touch.