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“Zombie” mobile phone battery causes fire in dustbin



It seems that their work is not hard enough.

Waste managers are now doubling as first responders-because the “zombie” cell phone batteries are buried in the garbage dump and are in danger of exploding at any given moment.

According to Allied Market Research, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have quickly become a $37 billion industry by powering various electronic devices, including mobile phones and tablets, laptops, watches, e-cigarettes and toothbrushes. standard. Compared with traditional batteries (such as Duracell and Energizer), they are considered to be more convenient and promote sustainable lifestyles, but in some cases, especially broken, damaged or defective batteries, they are also prone to volatilization .

For the global garbage collection industry, this has become a dangerous problem.

Jacob Hayler, executive director of the British Environmental Services Association, told the BBC that “large amounts”

; of lithium-ion batteries are thrown into recycling bins-as opposed to specially designated electronic recycling centers, which accept large amounts of Use potentially dangerous electronic products or toxic ingredients.

Heller said: “The fire caused by carelessly discarded zombie batteries is life-threatening, causing millions of pounds of damage and disrupting waste services.”

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Unlike other fire hazards that are usually thrown away (such as aerosol cans or propane cans), compact lithium-ion batteries are almost impossible to find in a pile of garbage-even the tiny batteries that power “singing” greeting cards are enough to light up. Overall, according to the annual report of Fire Rover, a manufacturer of fire detection services, the number of fires at waste facilities throughout North America increased by 26% from 2016 to 2019. The company’s vice president of strategic partnerships, Ryan Fogelman, blamed the rise on improper disposal of lithium-ion batteries.

She told The Edge magazine that Amy Adcox, the general manager of Republic Services, a garbage disposal plant in Plano, Texas, said that discarded electronic devices “keep me up at night.” Her factory installed concrete and metal firewalls to prevent fires from starting on its “dumping floor,” where trucks dumped large amounts of garbage at first. This is the starting point of most battery fires. Adcox also installed a Fire Rover thermal camera and an automatic foam cannon to extinguish flames at a long distance.

Adcox has learned something from past disasters. In 2016, a factory in San Mateo County, California, suffered four alarm fires caused by a lithium-ion battery, which shut down production for four months. The fact that they used conveyor belts to transport waste throughout the building prompted the fire to spread completely.

Bill Keegan, president of Dem-Con, a waste and recycling management company based in Minnesota, told the fringe: “Across the country, we lose about one facility per month and are destroyed by a battery fire.”

The role of lithium-ion batteries is to split lithium from electrons and become lithium ions. Since all batteries have positive and negative charges, the separated electrons are transferred from the negative terminal to the positive terminal through the circuit of the smart device. At the same time, lithium ions play a role in neutralizing the accumulation of charge and allowing the chain reaction to continue.

However, when part of the path is damaged, excessive energy accumulation can cause overheating.

According to the regulations of the US Department of Labor website, certain conditions can easily damage lithium-ion batteries and cause fires, such as charging lithium-ion batteries in extremely hot or cold climates. “Depending on the battery’s chemistry, size, design, component type, and the energy stored in the lithium battery, lithium battery failure may cause chemical and/or combustion reactions, and may also cause heat release and/or overvoltage,” it said.

Officials urge users of electronic products to heed warnings about how and when to charge batteries, especially where to dispose of them. For example, some electronics and household goods retailers (such as Home Depot and Best Buy) have electronics and battery recycling bins in their stores, while some cities provide their own services.


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