In the news lately has been a plethora of stories about electric vehicles catching fire, with some even spontaneously combusting. It has become a running joke on the Internet in the last few months. Now, joining flaming Telsas, we have E-bikes and E-scooters that are catching fire and burning down buildings. The culprit is Lithium batteries. And because a lithium fire is impossible to put out, as water only makes Lithium burn faster, such fires are almost impossible for firefighters to deal with.
Is this worth the virtue signaling to own a “planet saving” vehicle? And speaking of virtue signaling, you’ll never guess what we found out about ESG “environmental, social and governance” scores and what business is doing (or not doing) with it.
Join Host Anthony Watts, along with our panel of experts Sterling Burnett and Linnea Lueken as we explore these burning questions in CCR #54, Friday March 10th, at 1PM EST/10AM PST.
Watch Live here:
I am fascinated by the Air Disasters ( in some locals called Mayday I think) Cable TV documentary series. Some of the most horrific episodes involve improper transport of lithium battery’s. These things don’t extinguish and will burn through some metals like aluminum in no time at all.
And now they want to run the world on HYDROGEN.
I cant find a face palm emoji easily on this machine, or I would,.
Remember the Hindenburg
Hydrogen gets a bad rap: were the ol’ Von Hindenburg been filled with methane (i.e. natural gas!), it would have floated and whizzed about like a lumbering air whale, just the same. And a spark would have caused to to catch fire in a spectacular way. Just like Hindy. The hydrogen in Hindy din’t even explode! It simply caught fire. Like a giant bag of any flammable gas.
Bad rap or good rap
Here you go
Here in Northern Virginia, “Air Disasters” is carried by the Smithsonian channel.
There is a similar show focusing on ship disasters in the same way as “Air Disasters”.
I wouldn’t call either of them “documentary” as most of the footage is dramatization, not truly factual.
I watched one episode where it was obvious that a FAA employee was carrying the sealed recorders in great shape to storage, yet later it was claimed that they had not found both recorders.
Until they suddenly had the recording available for the investigators.
Still, they’re better shows than much of the New York/Hollywood overdramatic muck.
PLEASE understand that lithium ION batteries do NOT contain lithium METAL.
The flammable entity is an oxygenated hydrocarbon based electrolyte. It doesn’t go out because it has its own oxidant.
As I understand it: A lithium salt is dissolved in an organic solvent. There have to be separators within the battery to prevent a short circuit between anode and cathode whilst allowing the passage of lithium ions. The materials for separators are organic polymers. What is the source of these polymers? It wouldn’t be fossil fuel would it?
Is the US really catching on, where have you been MSM…. Who really pays your bills.
Remember the Felicity Ace..
And who starts all the wars, that’s next..
The 80 percent rule for charging after you buy the product based on 100 percent charge performance specifications is one starting point to sidestep legal liability without hurting sales to low information consumers and look-the-other-way consumer “advocates” and safety regulators.
many of my tools from a lawnmower to an impact driver are powered by rechargeable lithium based batteries. Some since their first introduction. Should I panic, I think not. If concerned just leave them in uncritical spots.
Yes, but not many “cells” in those. Batteries big enough to power scooters and especially cars are a lot bigger and have a lot more “cells,” and therefore a lot greater risk of one having a short and igniting the whole thing.
My first thought too. Like wind mills, bigger they are the harder they fall.
Imagine the fire from these baseload backup style batteries going in these days. I’ll risk my DIY drill where the motor gets hot before battery just stops recharging.
Yes, I think it pays to be cautious. I never leave my laptop charging unattended overnight especially as it has recently started to show sign of a distorted and wavy keyboard, presumably because the battery is swelling. Can’t get inside to see it though. Similarly never leave the phone on charge overnight.
I can’t tell you how many lithium batteries I have in my house – no fires. We have maybe 20 million EV’s worldwide, so how unsafe can they be? Lithium is safe, but not completely safe; many things are like that, automobiles of any kind, guns of any kind, airplanes, and so on. If EV’s don’t make it, it won’t be because of unsafe batteries.
It will be because of unsafe batteries PLUS a litany of other “issues.”
I love the bit in the video about the virtue-signalling ignorati heading for the slopes from San Francisco in their Teslas only to end up stranded on the highway short of their destination with dead batteries – hoist by their own petard!
Hi, nice chemistry issue. I wish I can paste here a picture of a periodic chart and a table of potential reduction. In the periodic chart, lithium appears in Group #I right below Hydrogen. This is the side of metals that readily-react with cold liquid water. The reaction is very severe, in which lithium loses 1 electron per atom to literally break water molecules to form hydrogen gas (H2) and the salt lithium hydroxide (LiOH), in which lithium becomes an ion with a +1 electric charge (Li +1); that is, every atom of lithium loses 1 electron from the orbits to create an imbalance between protons in the nucleus and electrons in orbits. The Li+1’s combine magnetically with the broken pieces hydroxides of water, as the hydroxides become -1’s (OH -1). The LiOH salt is much soluble in the remaining molecules of the water solvent, staying disconnected as individual positive Li +1 ions (cations) and negative OH -1 ions (anions), thus making the water solution conductive of electricity (electrolytical). The H2 hydrogen gas released is very flammable, easily-ignitable. The reason why the reaction happens is because the metal lithium neutral, that is, the atom with balanced number of protons and electrons, is not naturally stable; lithium likes to lose that 1 electron, per atom; it is said to be oxidized: lithium likes to be oxidized. The reaction with water is a redox reaction (reduction-oxidation) that happens spontaneously once pure metal lithium encounters water, very aggressively. The reaction is very exothermic; that is, it released large amounts of heat, it gets very hot. Look at the table of potential reductions showing at the very top the reaction of lithium losing 1 electron; no other metal is on top of lithium, because lithium is naturally the easiest metal to oxidize. In the table, a battery can be built by having in the side of the anode, the negative pole of a battery, the element that likes to be oxidized, and in the cathode, the positive pole, the metal that likes to be reduced; that is, the one accepting the most electrons from the oxidized. Because of the position of lithium, which is given by its chemical property of losing electron, lithium is always a donor of electrons, whereas the element Fluor (F), is the least; that is the most easy to reduce or to make gain electrons. The voltage obtained by a battery can be varied by keeping lithium always in the anode and changing the element in the cathode. Scientists build batteries in combos of redox reactions depending on the voltage needed for the application. Now, I personally don’t know from technology why scientists chose to work with lithium even though lithium reacts very severely when it comes to generating electric power in batteries. I can understand why choosing lithium from the point of view of chemical convenience of no other metal being able to be better than lithium to start causing an electric flow when the appropriate chemistry is put together. It kind of sounds to me like nuclear power, that the system is not quite stable once it has started to operate, and when something goes wrong out of hands, it is very difficult, almost impossible in nuclear power, to get under control. Something along the lines that we humans continue to use technology that works very good, but we know little to control when an accident happens. In the case of lithium, once all the solid lithium has lost the electrons, that is, become cations and combined in the salt violently-formed with water, the dangerous reaction is not longer affected by adding water to extinguish the fire of the violent reaction. There are chemicals different from water, inert, that do not react with lithium, that are used to extinguish the fire. This is why is very dangerous to attempt extinguishing a fire when there are metals of, in general, any element of the group I, like lithium, sodium, potassium, beryllium and francium; solid, in their pure form, electrically-neutral, not as ions. Maybe we humans should refrain from using dangerous chemicals for technology until we have a better way to control an accident better than a simple protocol of RUN! 🏃♀️