Do lithium batteries leak?
Yes, lithium batteries can leak, but it’s relatively rare.
Why does lithium batteries leak?
Leakage can occur due to manufacturing defects, physical damage, or exposure to extreme temperatures, causing the electrolyte inside the battery to leak out.
However, modern lithium battery designs and safety features have significantly reduced the likelihood of leakage. If a lithium battery is damaged or compromised, it’s important to handle it with care and follow proper disposal procedures.
If you’ve ever had a leaking battery, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only does it ruin your device, but it can also be dangerous. So, what causes lithium batteries to leak? And more importantly, is there anything you can do to prevent it?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at if batteries leak and what you can do to avoid it.
Table of Contents
Do Lithium Batteries Leak?
Lithium batteries seldom leak. Although there is a slight chance that they may leak like all batteries, it’s important to take precautions to prevent them from leaking.
Also, double-check the capacity of rechargeable batteries to ensure that your gadget can handle the voltage generated by the battery, or that the voltage produced by the battery you’re using is appropriate for your equipment.
You may keep your devices powered by using them with a lithium battery. Even if you leave your gadgets plugged in for long periods, the batteries will not deteriorate. You won’t notice any changes in how they operate. Alkaline batteries would vent when subjected to pressure and moisture, whereas lithium batteries do not.
Lithium batteries are safe as long as you take the necessary precautions to prevent them from leaking.
They are becoming common every day due to their lightweight and long-lasting power. Under natural circumstances, lithium batteries do not leak. However, you must store them in a dry and cool environment with about 50% to 70% of their charge still intact.
What Causes Lithium-ion Batteries to Leak?
Even though lithium batteries don’t usually leak, there are a few reasons why they might. Some of the reasons include:
When lithium batteries are overcharged, the electrolyte inside starts to break down. This process produces gasses that can escape from the battery and cause it to swell up. If the pressure gets too high, the battery may burst open and leak.
To prevent this, electric vehicles and LEVs come with an overcharge protection circuit that shuts off the charging when the battery is full. This, therefore, makes it difficult for the battery to overcharge which can lead to battery leakage.
If a lithium-ion battery is damaged, for example, by being dropped or punctured, this can also cause it to leak. The damage can cause the electrolyte to escape and mix with the other parts of the battery, leading to a chemical reaction and leaking.
Most of the best-rated lithium battery manufacturers undertake battery drop tests to avoid any type of damage that can cause battery leakage. Drop tests are used to determine a battery’s structural integrity and its ability to withstand an impact leading to damage. Buying from Tritek Battery will help to ensure that your battery is less likely to leak.
3. Manufacturing Defects
In some rare cases, a manufacturing defect can lead to leaky batteries. This is usually due to a problem with the seals that are used to keep the electrolyte inside the battery. If the seals are not made properly, they may allow the electrolyte to escape and leak out.
Buying new batteries from a reputable source can help to avoid this problem. Some of the outstanding lithium cell battery manufacturers with quality products include CATL, LG, Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung.
If a lithium battery gets too hot, this can also cause it to leak. Extreme temperatures can break down the electrolyte and cause it to escape from the battery. This is why it’s important to store lithium batteries in a cool, dry place. Follow the lithium battery manufacturers’ storage instructions to help avoid this type of battery leakage.
How to Prevent Lithium Batteries from Leaking?
There are a few things you can do to prevent your lithium batteries from leaking:
1. Store them in a cool and dry place
Storing your lithium batteries in a cool and dry place will help to prolong their life and prevent them from leaking. The ideal temperature for storing lithium batteries is between 32°F and 77°F (0°C and 25°C).
2. Don’t overcharge them
Overcharging your lithium batteries can cause them to leak, so it’s important to avoid doing this. If you’re using a lithium-ion battery charger, make sure it has an overcharge protection feature to prevent this from happening.
3. Inspect them regularly
Regularly inspecting your lithium batteries for signs of damage or defects is a good way to prevent them from leaking. If you notice any damage, such as cracks or punctures, replace the battery immediately.
4. Keep leaking battery from metal objects
Keeping your lithium batteries away from metal objects can help prevent them from being damaged and leaking. This is because metal objects can conduct electricity, which can cause a short circuit and damage the battery.
5. Use the right type of battery
Using the wrong type of battery in your device can cause it to leak. So, make sure you’re using the correct type of battery for your device. For example, if you’re using a lithium-ion battery, make sure it’s compatible with your device.
7. Do not puncture or drop them
Ensure that you do not puncture or drop your lithium batteries as this could easily damage them and cause them to leak or damage devices.
8. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully
If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, you can help to prevent your lithium batteries from leaking. Do not attempt something you are not sure about, and if in doubt, consult a professional. Buying cheap batteries from an unknown source is not worth the risk.
By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that your lithium batteries last for a long time and don’t leak.
How to Handle a Leaking Lithium Battery
If you have a leaking lithium-ion battery, it’s important to replace it immediately to avoid any damage to your devices or injuries to yourself. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Remove the battery from the device
If you suspect any leaking, remove batteries from the device immediately. If it’s not possible to remove the battery, turn off the device and unplug it from any power source.
2. Dispose of the battery properly
Disposing of a lithium battery properly is important to prevent damaging leaks to the environment or making the device damaged.
3. Replace the battery pack
Once you’ve removed the battery pack and disposed of it properly, you will need to replace it.
For Light electric vehicles battery pack:
Considering that the pack is made of well-soldered 18650 batteries, it is not recommended that you attempt to replace the cells yourself.
A single spoilt lithium cell can damage the entire battery pack and other parts of the device. We will recommend replacing the complete battery pack. The spoiled battery pack cannot be safely repaired.
4. Prevent future battery leaks
To prevent future leakage of the liquid electrolyte, make sure you follow the tips above to prevent your lithium batteries from leaking.
Types of Lithium Batteries Prone to Leakage
There are several types of lithium batteries and each of them faces the risk of leaking if not handled carefully.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular type of lithium battery. They’re used in cell phones, laptops, and electric vehicles. While they’re very powerful, they’re also very fragile. A drop or a bump can cause them to break and leak.
Lithium-polymer batteries are similar to lithium-ion batteries, but they’re made with a different type of electrolyte. They’re often used in medical devices and electronic cigarettes. Like lithium-ion batteries, they’re also fragile and can leak if they’re damaged.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are a newer type of lithium battery. They’re made with iron instead of cobalt, which makes them less likely to leak. However, they’re not as powerful as other types of rechargeable batteries and they don’t last as long.
Lithium-sulfur batteries are the newest type of lithium battery. They’re made with sulfur instead of lithium, which makes them more environmentally friendly. They’re also less likely to leak than other types of lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries are increasingly being used in a variety of devices due to their high energy density and low self-discharge rate. While these batteries offer many advantages, there is one potential downside – lithium batteries may leak.
The first thing to consider is that a battery is like a tiny fuel tank in which a chemical reaction of lithium ions takes place. While the components of this tank are interacting, there is electricity generation through self-discharge or usage.
The liquid electrolyte breaks down, causing hydrogen to be released. And as we all know, gases generate pressure. This is why the acids in the battery seep out.
Lithium batteries are generally safe and don’t leak often, but it’s still important to take precautions to prevent them from leaking. Compared to an alkaline battery, Lithium batteries have lower chances of leaking.
This is because they don’t produce as much hydrogen gas when they’re being used. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that your lithium batteries last for a long time and don’t leak. If you have leaking lithium or alkaline battery, make sure to clean it up immediately and dispose of it properly.