Nov 12, 2009- A series of explosions were reported last weekend from a Lithium-Ion battery recycling plant located in British Columbia. The plant, owned by Toxco Waste Management, is reportedly the only one of its kind for recycling Li-Ion batteries in all of North America! The incident only serves to highlight the other side of the “green movement”-safety issues with batteries. As more and more of these devices are installed in things like Electric Cars, ostensibly to save the earth and all that, nobody (none from the “Greens” anyway) seems toa sk what happens to all those batteries at the end of its useful life.
Cars with Internal Combustion engines for all their so called “carbon” and other footprints are solidly recyclable into other objects. How the large number of spent batteries in the revolutionary electric cars would be managed is anybodys guess.
In this case, the blaze produced emissions of sulfur dioxide and lithium hydrogen, but officials with Toxco state that, “The fire did not result in any negative impacts to the environment of the surrounding area.” Firefighters could not use water to douse the flames because Lithium reacts with water explosively and releases toxic chemicals.