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From e-bikes to cars all the way to automated vacuum cleaners, lithium-ion batteries can be found in countless electrified products today. While a new version is usually not hazardous, contact with only slightly defective batteries can possibly be fatal. Even manufacturers hesitate when it comes to transporting their defective, discarded products. With RETRON, REMONDIS is providing a solution for an acute problem linked to electrification while at the same time assuring a high level of safety.
In addition to the range of e-vehicles or charging properties, the transport and disposal of Li batteries often constitutes a challenge to these energy sources offering hope for the future – a challenge that is often overlooked. Especially the handling of damaged Li batteries can easily pose a risk to the persons involved. Not only do they have a significantly greater potential to heat up – in contrast to other sources of danger they can also spontaneously ignite when subject to vibrations, for example during transport. At the same time, highly caustic and toxic gases may be emitted – in the past this has often captured media attention. Not infrequently, cars and mobile phones ignited.
“We have already made a major contribution to preparation for an increasingly electrified product world as a company in the guise of RETRON.”
Christian Kürpick, Projektleiter RETRON
Lawmakers reacted swiftly, imposing strict requirements that have resulted in a highly complex myriad of laws and administration. It poses problems especially for small and medium-scale enterprises in packaging and transporting defective Li batteries properly and safely. It furthermore translates into a major financial burden in ensuring proper packaging and safe and secure transport.
REMONDIS has therefore assigned RETRON with the task of providing these enterprises with a simple and safe transport and storage system. The RETRON system consists of two components. RETRON containers made of steel are able to withstand an interior temperature of 1,000°C, and this for a lengthy period of time.
Its outer wall only heats up to a maximum of 100°C in extreme cases as well. Exhaust gas and filter systems can be hooked up directly to the container through an integrated valve. The controlled discharge of gases in the event of a battery fire prevents the container from suddenly breaking open under the increased pressure. In the inside of the container, the heat-insulating RETRON bag made out of a special textile ensures that when transporting several batteries no chain reaction is triggered. In contrast to all other transport systems for Li batteries, RETRON therefore works without any inert bulk materials whatsoever. That makes the packaging of Li batteries considerably simpler, safer and absolutely dust-free for all users.
“Only cooperation between all the actors in the value-creation chain can limit the risks associated with Li batteries. With RETRON, our company working in the field of recycling has already made a useful contribution to preparation for the increasingly electrified product world. We are hence optimistic that additional progress can be made in the future as well,“ says Christian Kürpick, who heads the RETRON project.
RETRON containers are also well-suited for the storage of new goods. Many manufacturers of appliance appreciate it as a safe alternative to warehouse shelves.
In addition to the container system, RETRON in addition also makes it possible to securely transport Li batteries safely with specially equipped vehicles and trained personnel. There is thus nothing to prevent RETRON partners from returning Li batteries to the closed-loop material system.
RETRON makes the transport of defective Li batteries safe, simple and practical all at once