Further measures at KMK Metals Recycling to prevent dangerous lithium battery fires

   Fri, 29th Jul, 2022

At KMK Metals Recycling, battery recycling is one of the core elements of the company’s extensive operations across the metals and WEEE recycling industry. In 2021, through its partnership with Ireland’s largest compliance scheme, WEEE Ireland, the company collected over 1000 tonnes of portable batteries and over 100 tonnes of automotive and industrial batteries.

One the biggest challenges of handling, transporting, and storing industrial batteries remains safeguarding damaged or defective lithium batteries, which can be incredibly volatile and a serious danger to staff, equipment, transport vehicles and premises, should they go on fire.

KMK Metals Recycling has countered some of these challenges over the past few years, by sourcing a range of specialised products from Gelkoh. One of the first products the company introduced was the LiBa Box + LiBa Safe, an innovative outer box with an internal sump tray, fireproof inner packaging, fire detection and an extinguishing system that both extinguishes a fire and simultaneously treats the exhaust gas from bursting.

The LiBa Safe (inner packaging) is equipped with load securing rails for optimal handling and optionally with crane eyes and/or forklift shoes. For controlled escape of battery gases, a gas management system with HF-reduction is located in the cover.

The very latest technology to come on stream is the new LiBa Cover, which KMK Metals Recycling’s battery department has just introduced. In compliance with current ADR (EU regulations) for the safe storage and transport of damaged and defective critical batteries, the LiBa Cover, is a targeted flame retardant cover that fits over the LiBa Box and LiBa Safe, offering a third layer of protection.

KMK Metals Recycling’s battery expert, Kevin Thornton, said: “With this recent upgrade from Gelkoh we now have the complete LiBa XLs system at our disposal, allowing us to provide a full service to customers who may be dealing with critically damaged Lithium batteries. We have specialised N-EXT fire extinguishers on site and in our collection vans and a highly-trained team on site equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle an incident should one occur. Damaged/Defective Lithium batteries are volatile and unpredictable but we are making every effort to minimise the risk as much as possible, regulations and technology are constantly evolving and we will always be on the look-out for new and innovative ways to stay ahead.”