KMK Metals Recycling Invests in Specialised Fire Extinguishers to Tackle Lithium Battery Fires

   19 Jul 2019

KMK Metals Recycling has invested in a suite of new N-EXT fire extinguishers in response to the potential danger generated by lithium battery fires. All KMK battery merchandisers have been equipped with these new extinguishers for their vans and they are also easily accessible at both the Tullamore and Kilbeggan recycling plants.

The N-EXT fire extinguisher is very suitable for use with lithium battery burning. The use of this extinguishing agent in lithium fires ensures very fast cooling, this is the only way to stop a 'thermal runaway' of a lithium fire.   

The cooling effect of the N-EXT fire extinguisher N-EXT reduces the surface tension of the extinguishing water from 73 dyne/cm to less than 33 dyne/cm. Due to this humidifying effect, N-EXT extinguishing agent penetrates deep into the burning material and open spaces present.

 Another important and unique feature of N-EXT is that the extinguishing agent mixture produced can deliver substantially more water vapour from about 70°C, instead of the boiling point of water (100 ° C). This increase of the evaporation rate of water in N-EXT extinguishing agent mixtures ensures that during the extinguishing process the heat of burning substances is removed very quickly and vigorously in comparison with pure fire-extinguishing water and therefore cooled down more quickly. The fire is extinguished by cooling the combustible substance below its ignition temperature.

Staff at KMK Metals Recycling recently underwent training on the safety, sorting and handling of portable, industrial and automotive batteries with European expert Johan van Peperzeel and the N-EXT extinguishers have been developed by his company Battery Safety Solutions.     

By extinguishing fires quickly, in addition to the reduced emissions of harmful flue gases and smoke particles, the inevitable emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 can also be reduced.