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PACT and Fireproof Solutions develop lithium-ion battery fire extinguishing agent

Extinguishing solution quenches lithium-ion fires upwards of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit

An EV is charging while parked on the side of a road
Lithium-ion battery fires can be hard to contain and cause considerable dangers to recyclers and transporters. Pixabay

Packaging and Crating Technologies (PACT) and Fireproof Solutions have collaborated to develop an agent that extinguishes lithium-ion battery fires quickly and safely. The two companies have launched Lion-X, a specialized fire extinguishing agent that contains and destroys deadly fires involving lithium-ion batteries, battery packs, and chargers.

"Lithium-ion battery fires are nearly impossible to extinguish and usually have to smoulder out on their own after burning for many hours and emitting lethal fumes and gases, which makes them doubly dangerous," says Rodger Mort, president of PACT. "Safety for first responders, transportation companies, and the general public has always been the driving force of our company and we know Lion-X will be a life-saving game-changer for everyone."

According to TechCrunch online, as of July 3, 2023, there have been 114 investigations into lithium-ion fires, 74 injuries and 13 deaths, compared to six deaths in 2022 and four in 2021 and 80 of the fires occurred in populated structures like homes, buildings, and offices, adding to the danger and potential mortality.

Lion X is a pre-mixed, water-based agent that forms a low-expansion foam from an aspirating nozzle. The solution is compatible with both portable and wheeled extinguishers for either manual or automatic spraying. The agent can also be piped directly into EV battery packs and energy storage system ("ESS") modules from agent storage tanks without foaming. Lion-X is able to quench lithium-ion fires upwards of 1,600 Fahrenheit – typically within 30 seconds – while absorbing a greater amount of heat energy. Importantly, the companies say that Lion-X also transforms smoke formation from lithium-ion fires such that virtually zero hydrogen and methane are produced, so these toxic gases won't be released into the environment.

"Our proprietary, American-made solution sticks to 3-D shapes, overhead and vertical surfaces, and easily penetrates into small crevices," says Dennis Rediker, CEO of Fireproof Solutions. "Additionally, when the fire is completely snuffed out, Lion-X only leaves behind a fine powder residue, which continues to cool surfaces and is easily washed off with a wet cloth or paper towel."

Mort notes that spraying Lion-X on ignited B-pack battery cases and chargers also stops thermal runaway (TF), a phenomenon in which a lithium-ion cell enters an uncontrollable, self-heating state caused by extremely high temperatures, which can result in the ejection of toxic gas, shrapnel, smoke, and fire. Lion-X keeps the surrounding cells cool so that they don't create a ‘domino effect' and thus, a larger explosive event.

Lion-X can also extinguish fires in other materials like wood, paper, and fibre, as well as items and structures, such as furniture, curtains, shelves, cars, boats, carpets, walls, and ceilings by preventing the spread of flames without damaging the sprayed items. Further, the solution is designed to be used without personal protective equipment (PPE) and is safe to wash and flush into sewers.

PACT has fabricated PACT Thermo Shield, a lightweight, paper-based, fire-suppressant wrap that controls lithium battery thermal runaway when travelling, shipping, storing, or disposing of products containing lithium-ion batteries. It has passed the proposed testing standards of SAE International for safety in shipping lithium-ion batteries via land, sea, and air.

Additionally, PACT has designed a solution for the charging of electric mobility batteries used in EVs, electric scooters, and electric bikes. The PACT Thermo Shield TR sleeve, in which specially coated paper is wrapped around each lithium-ion battery cell to mitigate thermal runaway between them, thus serving as a crucial heat and flame barrier.

Lastly, for smaller devices such as cell phones; pagers; smartwatches; and A, B, C, and D batteries, the PACT Thermo Shield, TR envelope provides another way to ship or transport products safely to a battery recycler.

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