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What causes lithium-ion battery fires? Why are they so intense? And how should they be fought?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Electric Vehicle (EV) fires linked to lithium-ion batteries have raised concerns in Australia, following notable incidents at Sydney airport and Bouldercombe battery storage site in Queensland

🔭 The context: Lithium-ion batteries, due to their high energy storage capacity, are commonly used in EVs, smartphones, and laptops
• These batteries are generally safe, but when they do overheat, the resulting “thermal runaway” can lead to intense and potentially toxic fires
• In Australia, from 2010 to June 2023, only four EV battery fires were recorded

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: As EVs are promoted as eco-friendly alternatives to fuel-based vehicles, understanding and mitigating the risks associated with their key components are crucial to ensuring the safety and environmental benefits of this green transition

⏭️ What's next: Enhancing safety protocols, developing specialized extinguishing methods, and building awareness among users about charging and maintaining their EVs can mitigate the risks related to lithium-ion battery fires

📈 One stat: A recent paper forecasts a possible total of around 900 EV fires in Australia between 2023 and 2050, illustrating the rarity but potential growth of such incidents as EV usage increases

Click for more news covering the latest on green tech

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