Lithium Battery in Water – Introduction and Safety

May 13, 2022   Pageview:96

Must have heard about Lithium battery! It belongs to the category of primary batteries that comprise of a metallic lithium. The metallic lithium serves as an anode due to which this battery is also known as lithium-metal battery. Do you know what makes them stand apart from the other types of batteries?

Yes, it is none other than the high charge density and high cost associated in every unit. Based on the design and chemical compounds used, the lithium cells produce the required voltage. The range of voltage may range anywhere between 1.5 Volts and 3.7 Volts.

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What will Happen if the Lithium Battery becomes Wet?

Whenever lithium battery becomes wet, the reaction that takes place is remarkable. Lithium forms lithium hydroxide and a highly flammable hydrogen. The solution that is formed is truly alkali in nature. The reactions last longer in comparison to the reaction that takes place between sodium and water. 

For safety purposes, it is not recommended to keep lithium batteries nearby high temperatures. They must be kept away from the contact of direct sunlight, laptops and radiators. These batteries are highly sensitive in nature due to which they must not be kept into areas where there are higher chances of coming across damages. 

Are you planning to carry out with an experiment by immersing lithium battery into water? It is better not to do so by mistake as it may be highly fatal. The battery after getting submerged in water results in high amount of leakage of harmful chemicals. As the water gets inside the battery, the chemicals get mixed up and release a harmful compound. 

The compound is highly fatal in terms of health. It may cause burning of the skin in contact. Also, the battery gets damaged adversely.

Punctured Lithium Battery in Water

If your lithium battery gets punctured, then the overall outcome may be fatal. As a user, you must be careful enough. A punctured Li-ion battery may result in some serious fire accidents. As the potent electrolytes may get leaked throughout the hole, chemical reactions take place in the form of heat. Finally, the heat may damage the other cells of the battery, creating a chain of damage. 

Lithium battery in water may result in the release of a nail polish like smell due to the formation of dimethyl carbonate. You may smell it but better smell it for few seconds only. If the battery catches fire, then fluoric acid gets released that may result in causing high rate of cancerous ailments. It will result in melting of the tissues of your bones and nerves.

This process is known as thermal runaway which is a self-reinforcing cycle. It may lead towards high range battery fires and other combustion-related events. Hazardous fumes is another risk associated with the leakage of battery. The release of carbon monoxide and hydrofluoric acid may irritate the skin after long hours of exposure. 

Inhaling the fumes for a long time may result in life-threatening risks. Hence, it is better not to experiment with your health.

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Lithium Battery into Salt Water

Now, immersing the lithium battery in salt water, then the reaction will be something remarkable. The salt gets dissolved in water, thus leaving the sodium ions and chloride ions behind. The sodium ion will migrate towards the tank having negative charge, while the chloride ion migrates towards the tank having a positive charge.

Immersing of Li-ion battery in saltwater will result in full discharge without hampering the properties of the battery. Full discharging of the battery hardly affects the life cycle of the entire storage system. In addition, the battery may stay for weeks without any charge. For this specific reason, the need for battery maintenance system gets reduced. 

The charge automatically gets controlled with the ionic actions. It is one of the safest options as there is hardly any risk of catching fire. Immersing of Li-ion batteries in salt water will help in enhancing the lifespan of the battery. Last but not the least; it is a highly preferable option in-term of environmental friendliness. 

The immersing of lithium-ion battery in saltwater eliminates the dwindling needs of political and economical upheavals. 

Lithium Battery Explosion in Water

Unlike saltwarer, immersing of Li-ion battery in water may result in a dangerous explosion. The fire that takes place is overall dangerous than ordinary fires. The harm is measured in terms of both literally and figuratively.  The moment Lithium starts reacting with water, hydrogen gas and lithium hydroxide gets released. 

Over exposure to lithium hydroxide may result in high rate of skin irritation and damage to the eye. As a flammable gas is produced, pouring of water on lithium fire may prove to be even more fatal. The production of the hydrofluoric acid may result in a highly toxic situation, thus irritating the lungs and eyes.

The floating of lithium in water due to low density due to which lithium fire may be highly troublesome. The fire that gets evolved may seem difficult in terms of getting extinguished. It may result in arousing if an oddly specific emergency situation. As lithium batteries and components are available in variable shapes and sizes, it is very much important to be ready to come across any type of emergency situation. 

One more risk associated with the immersing of lithium-ion batteries in water is none other than the risk of getting exploded. They are designed specifically for the production of an optimal charge at minimal weight. It essentially calls for the thinnest casings and partitions between the cells. 

Hence, the optimization results in leaving the room in terms of durability. This may result in easy damage to the internal and external components of the battery. 

In Conclusion

Thus, from the above it is clear that though Lithium batteries are boon today; still they must be handled with enough care. As they are liable to get exploded after getting in touch with water, it is advisable to be extra careful. Careful handling will ensure prevention from health-related hazards and fatal accidents. 


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