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RC Home | How To | LiPo Battery Disposal

 

 

RC How To:

Dispose of a Li-Po Battery

 

 

Many people think that Li-Po (lithium-polymer) batteries are unsafe. That is not true and disposal of them is actually easier than batteries of the past. Unlike Ni-Cd and Ni-Mh batteries, Li-Po's are environmentally friendly.

 

For safety reasons, its best that LiPo cells be fully discharged before disposal (however, if physically damaged it is NOT recommended to discharge LiPo cells before disposal - see below for details).

 

The batteries must also be cool before proceeding with disposal instructions. To dispose of LiPo cells and packs:


1. If any LiPo cell in the pack has been physically damaged, resulting in a swollen cell or a split or tear in a cell’s foil covering, do NOT discharge the battery. Jump to step 5.


2. Place the LiPo battery in a fireproof container or bucket of sand.


3. Connect the battery to a LiPo discharger. Set the discharge cutoff voltage to the lowest possible value. Set the discharge current to a C/10 value, with “C” being the capacity rating of the pack. For example, the “1C” rating for a 1200mAh battery is 1.2A, and that battery’s C/10 current value is (1.2A / 10) can be used, such as a power resistor or set of light bulbs as long as the discharge current doesn’t exceed the C/10 value and cause an overheating condition.

 

Lipo Battery Disposal

(Charger set to discharge a 3 cell Lipo to 1.0v per cell)


4. Discharge the battery until its voltage reaches 1.0V per cell or lower. For resistive load type discharges, discharge the battery for up to 24 hours.


5. Submerse the battery into bucket or tub of salt water. This container should have a lid, but it should not need to be air-tight. Prepare a plastic container (do not use metal) of cold water. And mix in 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. Drop the battery into the salt water. Allow the battery to remain in the tub of salt water for at least 24 hours if already discharged to 1.0v per cell or 2 weeks if still charged.


6. Remove the LiPo battery from the salt water, wrap it in newspaper or paper towels and
place it in the normal trash. They are landfill safe.

 

 

 

 

Related:

Change Battery Connectors Safely

Li-Po Cell Voltage Checker

 

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