Risks & Safety Solutions Event

Last 9th May Recyclia/Ecopilas collaborated with EcoQuímica, one of its waste lithium battery collectors, KEMLER, an ADR consultancy, and Valdemoro firefighters’ team to organise a lithium battery safety event at the Valdemoro fire station. The objective of this event was to raise awareness among people about the risks and the safety solutions of handling hazardous lithium batteries.

The event was focus on training how to respond in case of a lithium battery is set on fire. Nevertheless, there were also a demo space where some innovative products related with safety solutions were shown.

The meeting started with a speech and a presentation of the organizers with a theoretical part in which there was an explanation not only of the risks associated with the use of lithium batteries and how to respond to them, but also the logistics, the management of these wastes, the regulations and the recommendations for their transportation and storage. In this part, Recyclia/Ecopilas presented the work developed through the Batraw project in relation with the Guideline on battery pack handling and transportation.

Afterwards, the guests were taken to the station yard to start with the demonstrations and presentations of the products by the participating companies. The showcased products included safety equipment such as security cabinets, detection systems like thermometric chambers, lithium battery treatment plants, electric buses, and photovoltaic facilities.

The event attracted a diverse group of stakeholders from the battery value chain, including OEMs from the automotive sector, Product Responsibility Organizations (PROs), waste managers, logistics providers, and equipment suppliers.

Demonstrations of products during the workshop.

The highlight of the event, which drew significant attention from stakeholders, was the demonstration conducted by firefighters on the provocation and management of fires in various types of lithium-ion batteries. This critical segment showcased the intentional ignition of batteries from multiple sources, including tablets, scooter modules, and full battery packs from electric vehicles (EVs).

The firefighters meticulously executed drills simulating fire scenarios in each of these battery types, providing a comprehensive understanding of the distinct challenges posed by each situation. Additionally, they presented a range of strategies and innovative techniques to effectively combat and mitigate these fires, emphasizing the importance of safety and preparedness in handling lithium-ion battery incidents.

By witnessing these controlled demonstrations, stakeholders gained valuable insights into the complexities of lithium-ion battery fires and the latest advancements in firefighting methods, enhancing their knowledge and readiness for such emergencies.

Firefighters conducted exercises in batteries to simulate an accident.

The event also provided an opportunity to examine the specialized containers used by the BATRAW project for transporting its battery modules. Featured prominently was a demonstration of the containers housing AkkuGrain bags. These containers are equipped with protective materials designed to manage and contain potential thermal runaway events during the transportation and storage of lithium-ion batteries.

This demonstration highlighted the importance of robust transport and storage solutions in ensuring the secure handling of lithium-ion batteries, reinforcing the project’s commitment to safety and innovation.

Front and top view of the container.

Finally, it is important to highlight that everything has been covered in the media and that public figures participated in the event. Some of Valdemoro’s newspapers published how it went and what the event was about. It was an effective way of raising awareness among people interested in the topic of lithium batteries and how to neutralize the fire in case there is an incident.

The following video features an interview with Patricia S. Aedo, coordinator of the battery operations area. In the video, she elucidates the role of Recyclia in the collection and recycling of lithium ion waste batteries.

This event was a significant milestone, emphasizing the importance of the BATRAW project and its benefits to all stakeholders, as it can be showcased. Not only Recyclia participated in this event, but also Leitat and BeePlanet were also participating on this workshop.

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