JoNova

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It’s just a ship full of luxury cars on fire, and no one can put out the lithium batteries

Do EV’s make good reefs?

h/t to Paul Homewood who notes The BBC didn’t mention the burning lithium battery story.

The Felicity Ace cargo ship caught fire on Wednesday last week:

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that an internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that the ship was carrying 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands.

It’s not clear if the fire started in an EV battery but once the flames got into them, the ship was abandoned to burn.

According to a study done in 2013 by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development, the batteries burn extremely hot and produce noxious gases.

“In the event of a lithium ion battery catching fire, it is important to note that such a fire reaches very high temperatures, produces toxic gases and is inextinguishable,” the report concluded. — The Independent

 Five days later the fire has finally run out of material to consume.

Felicity Burnt, Cargo Ship.

Now Felicity Burnt. | Reuters

Luxury cars on fire on cargo ships is a thing now

March 12th, 2019: The Grande America caught fire with 2,000 luxury cars on board and sank.

 

Thankfully, in both cases all 22 and 27 crew members were rescued.

In December 2021, UKP&I Insurance Group prophetically issued a warning  about bulk carriers and the new risks they face with EV’s.

Though  it did not specifically blame EV’s for starting these fires, it listed some recent car carrier fires:

Grande America suffered a fire in March 2018 and subsequently developed a starboard list, causing it to capsize and sink in a depth of around 4,600 metres. The resulting oil spill stretched for 10km and the ship was carrying 2,000 cars and 365 containers, of which 45 were deemed to hold hazardous substances.

Sincerity Ace caught fire in the Pacific on New Year’s Eve 2018 with more than 3,500 cars onboard.  The crew had to abandon the vessel, and whilst 16 crew were rescued, five tragically died as a result of the incident.

In June 2019, Diamond Highway had to be abandoned by its crew in the South China Sea, due to fire, whilst carrying 6,354 cars. Thankfully, all 25 crew were rescued.

Looks like EV’s need to socially distance.

PS: For those with time and an inclination, there once was a big ship with 6,000 Mazdas that floundered for weeks. Engineers will appreciate the scale of that salvage job though it did not apparently involve EVs or fires. Somehow the Cougar Ace was saved, but every single car was forensically scrapped.

9.6 out of 10 based on 53 ratings

104 comments to It’s just a ship full of luxury cars on fire, and no one can put out the lithium batteries

  • #
    RobB

    The chance of a Tesla vehicle going up in smoke is one fire for every 200 Billion km according ot Tesla, If you drive an average of 20000 km/yr you get an annual probability of fire of 0.01%. On the other hand, there are about 5 fatalities for every billion km travelled on Australia’s roads. Again, if you travel 20000 km/yr the chance of being involved in a fatal accident is 0.01% (some pedestrians must be in that number). So roughly speaking, the chance of your Tesla going up in smoke in any particular year is about the same as your chance of being in a fatal vehicle accident. I leave it to the reader to decide if that’s acceptable or not.

    439

    • #
      Ed Zuiderwijk

      That assumes that the estimate by Tesla is accurate. A little bird tells me that actually that risk is massively underestimated.

      480

    • #
      William

      You could probably create a statistic like that RobB, that will show drink driving to be incredibly safe.

      210

    • #
      GlenM

      That figure is too round. It should be one for every 203. 26 km. More credible.

      110

    • #
      Peter C

      There is something wrong with your probability calculations Rob,
      1 Per 200 Billion is not the same risk as 5 per Billion.

      100

      • #
        RobB

        oh you’re right, Tesla figure should be 1 in 200 MILLON

        51

        • #
          Peter C

          Ok. That makes sense.

          30

        • #
          Geoffrey+Williams

          One can quote all the statistics in the world but it don’t mean a thing !
          Because the situation ‘is what it is’ a shipload of toxic metals and plastics sh*t polluting our environment and the mainstream media doesn’t want us to know . . an you seem to agree.

          60

        • #
          paul courtney

          Mr. B.: Oh, your first number was a bit off? Don’t worry, Elon can make up another number and EV fans will lap it up.
          Just to be sure you don’t miss the point- it could be one in 200 B, or 200 m, if it happens on a ship at sea, you lose the ship and all cargo. I wonder if these big shippers notice when insurance premiums go up? Do you wonder about such things, Mr. B.?

          00

    • #
      Geoffrey+Williams

      Someone has been sucked in by the renewables rhetoric . .

      30

    • #
      Scissor

      The European EVs are superior to Teslas in that they spontaneously combust prior to their delivery.

      180

      • #
        sophocles

        Scissor said:

        The European EVs are superior to Teslas in that they spontaneously combust prior to their delivery.

        … and in the right place.

        Fire Brigades usually immerse ( = submerge!) burning batteries/EVs to extinguish them. The ship is, therefore, in the right place, so turn it into an instant reef.

        30

    • #
      Mantaray Yunupingu

      Rob B: Got a link to the actual stats underlying these calculated probabilities?

      Even though I usually believe everything a manufacturer says about their vehicles (VW emissions etc,etc etc) I do like to check things out for myself.

      Thanks Rob.

      BTW: Just heading off for my 15th mRNA booster since I truly believe what Big Everything says is true.

      90

  • #
    Bill Drissel

    Have these batteries passed salt fog testing?
    Bill Drissel
    The Colony, TX, USA

    71

  • #
    davefromweewaa

    Or true or not.

    41

  • #
    Neville

    So just a few questions to think about these super TOXIC EV disasters.
    Can they ever be transported safely in high numbers on ships? Or any numbers?
    Should the batteries be transported in some very secure NEW containers and remain uncharged? Perhaps uncharged and fully installed in the cars? Who knows?
    Of course Lomborg’s study tells us that full compliance by all countries’ EVs promises will reduce temp by about 0.0001 c. IOW these TOXIC disasters are a terrible GLOBAL environmental disaster both below and above the ground.
    Why are govts around the world promoting these TOXIC EVs + TOXIC S & W etc and no measurable change to global temps by 2050 or 2100?
    So why don’t they simply look up the data for themselves?

    250

    • #
      William

      Neville, they need a charged battery to be able to be driven on and off the ship – that is how cars are loaded and unloaded when transported.

      140

      • #
        Neville

        Sorry William but I’m just trying to point out that it may have to change. Perhaps a new type of frame that picks up each car quickly and places it quickly could be used? Then vice versa for unloading each vehicle?
        I’ve got no interest in TOXIC EVs, but there will have to be a new way to handle these disasters if we’re stupid enough to continue this nonsense.
        Don’t forget that these TOXIC lithium battery fires cannot be extinguished and can last for days and a ship load would be unstoppable.
        Even a completely separate, SEALED travelling box for each car would be an answer, who knows?

        150

        • #
          William

          I agree with your concept Neville, but suspect it would be ruinously expensive to do so – but if they did do it, I suppose they would simply introduce a new tax to cover the virtue signalling fleet!

          30

  • #
    davefromweewaa

    Oops! Meant to be reply to #1.

    00

  • #
    Bruce

    Neville:

    “Why are govts around the world promoting these TOXIC EVs + TOXIC S & W etc???”

    MONET!

    Import duty, road taxes; the usual.

    The obvious move is to jack up taxws and “fees” on conventional ICE propelled vehicle until they “go away”. Then charge big bucks for “public” recharging points, “safety” checks, increased compulsory (fire) insurance fees, etc. Of course, one must ALWAYS take the “SPILLAGE” into account.

    It is “government” of whom we speak, not actual, rational REAL people.

    Even KRudd admitted it in his use of the old joke:

    What are the greatest lies in history?

    You’ll all be home for Christmas.

    Of course I’ll still respect you in the morning.

    I’m from the government and I’m here to help!

    120

  • #
    Bruce

    As ABBA sang; “MONET, MONET, MONET” (not).

    That aside, The other reference to said big lie was Ronald Reagan, who quipped about the nine most frightening words in the English language:

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

    Those who have been paying attention will also have noticed that as time passes, the “carrot” shrink” and the size and use of the “stick” increases.

    Who ‘da thunk it?

    130

    • #
      GlenM

      A bit like the Paris art thieves who were arrested when their vehicle ran out of fuel. When asked why they stole the paintings they said “We need the Monet to buy the Degas to make the Van Gogh”

      220

  • #
    Bruce

    [Duplicate]AD

    00

  • #
    Ronin

    We might have to introduce ‘social distancing’ to EVs.

    90

    • #
      Neville

      Ronin some countries have already passed laws that prohibit close parking of EVs in the street. IOW even outside in the OPEN streets, so zero comparison to very close storage on ships.
      Anyone not see a problem with these super expensive, TOXIC disasters?

      71

  • #
    Ronin

    Let’s hope the ship can be towed to shore and beached somewhere and it and the cars be cut up and recycled, and not become an artificial reef with hundreds of tonnes of fuel seeping out for decades.

    60

    • #

      It would also be interesting to see if the fire origin can be established. The number of container ship fires seems to be on the rise and while it’s not known for certain it started in an EV, I’d bet money that it was.

      This would seem to be information that many don’t want to know, just like they don’t want to know the truth about the garbage the IPCC calls science. It’s the resistance to any truth that undermines a widely held belief.

      120

      • #
        Neville

        Co2 is not evil, an onboard fire could start elsewhere and THEN transfer to the EVs.
        These TOXIC disasters needn’t be the start up cause, but would quickly take over. Remember the number of EV buses video that quickly transferred in close parking in very quick time? See youtube.
        And some countries already have laws that prohibit close parking of EVs in the streets.

        50

        • #

          I suspect a fire that started anywhere else would have been quickly noticed and extinguished before it burned through enough steel to catch the car decks on fire.

          If the cause was an EV battery, insurance companies would definitely want to know, even if most alarmists don’t. Imagine if shipping companies couldn’t get insurance to transport EV’s.

          60

    • #
      MarkMcD

      I wouldn’t worry too much about an ‘artificial reef’ situation – Lithium reacts rather violently with water. I’d think maybe where the ship sinks would just become a deeper part of the ocean.

      I’ve wondered whether the thermic activity of the discharging batteries might be responsible for the EV fires – one little bit of condensation in the batteries and we have Marvin the Martian breathing a sigh of relief that he got his “Ka-BOOM!”

      60

  • #
    Binny Pegler

    Be interesting to see what happen to the insurance on EV carriers.

    71

    • #
      Ronin

      Car carriers seem to be inherently unstable, then you add the ev risk.
      One car carrier was loading vehicles in port where the harbour water was very dirty, the captain made the decision not to ballast until they were under way and in cleaner water outside the harbour, result was the ship capsized before it got out of the harbour.

      50

      • #
        Annie

        Are you thinking about that ferry that capsized in Zeebrugge? A friend died in that one and he was only on it to do a favour to someone else.

        40

      • #
        It’s all BS

        Just to be clear, all vessels can have stability issues, if not ballasted correctly. Car carriers have a greater windage than most merchant ships due to their cargo. But they are designed to be stable if ballasted correctly. Your analogy of the dirty water I find hard to believe for a variety of reasons. If it were true, it could happen to almost any vessel

        00

    • #
      MarkMcD

      Be interesting to see what happen to the insurance on EV carriers.

      There’s already rumours insurance companies might require EV’s to be garaged well away from homes unless you want to face a significant jump in home insurance.

      “We’re gonna need a bigger yard! Have to move the garage 100m thataway!”

      80

  • #
    DD

    You have to wonder why some leftists rarely, if ever, mention:
    – lithium battery fires;
    – degraded performance of lithium batteries with repeated charging, and especially fast-charging;
    – the impact of lithium mining (https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/the-environmental-impact-of-lithium-batteries/);
    – the bird kill from wind turbines and solar concentrators;
    – the need for subsidies;
    – the taxpayers money lost in failed renewables schemes;
    – the cost of hail damage to solar panels;
    – the environmental and financial cost of disposing of spent solar panels, lithium batteries and wind turbines;
    – the need for fossil fuels in the production of the plastics and resins used in just about everything, including the production of solar panels and wind turbines;
    – the ability of electricity infrastructure to support large-scale EV use;
    – the historical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature;
    – and … what have I missed?
    Could it be that their agenda is something other than concern for the environment?

    130

    • #
      Neville

      Yes DD and Lomborg’s new study has found that there’d be no measurable change to global temps even if every country complied with their EV promises extracted from the Glasgow clown and fr-d show.
      A reduction of 0.0001c is surely a fantasy world joke for full compliance? But not for Glasgow apparently?

      80

    • #
      jelly34

      If OUR politicians did THEIR job these EV’s and windmills would NEVER get off the ground.NEVER

      50

    • #
      wal1957

      Also a large percentage of the population focus in on the words “cheap, clean, CO2 free” and they gullibly don’t question any of the downsides or outright lies that they are being told.

      51

  • #

    Welcome to the Green New World. As a volunteer firefighter we have been warned about fires in EVs

    140

  • #

    It wasn’t completely unreported by the BBC. They had an interest as ~180 Bentlies were in the ship.

    The ABC reported it yesterday

    06

  • #

    Allow me to be the Devils Advocate here gents….
    A). We dont know how many EVs were on the ship ..( odd because there must be a detailed manifest ? )
    B). We dont know if it was an EV that started the fire ( many other examples of ships catching fire.)
    C). Nearly all EV fires occurr during charging or as the result of an accident….unlikely any charging was happening onboard, and an accident is equally remote possibility. ( unless rough seas ?)
    D).. It would be very benificial to the Captain, ship owners, and insurers, ..to be able to blame the cause on a single source product shipped by a known supplier.!

    So rather than speculate wildly, i will wait for an official report on the “probable” cause of the fire.
    …( i doubt we will ever know conclusively what the exact cause was)

    32

    • #

      The EV’s would be on a safe level of charge (look it up) so I’d doubt they could be either fuel or the source.

      012

      • #
        Ronin

        ” The EV’s would be on a safe level of charge (look it up) so I’d doubt they could be either fuel or the source.”

        Not true, the EVs may not have been the source of the fire but they most certainly would contribute to the fire once it started, they can be compared to a thermite fire, capable of melting steel.

        120

      • #
        ghl

        I wonder, Would a flat battery burn if ignited?

        50

        • #

          Ronin thinks so.

          btw look up safe charges for transporting batteries.

          06

          • #
            Ronin

            The batteries would hardly be flat, maybe not fully charged but enough to drive the thing on board and park it, sit for a month then drive it off the ship possibly up or down multiple decks, to park it in a bond storage, so plenty of energy available to start or sustain a fire.

            20

      • #

        in the link from the ABC report you posted G A

        “Lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles on board are “keeping the fire alive”,

        30

        • #

          True… I better believe it then.

          05

          • #

            ROFLMAO

            you never fail to disappoint G A 😉

            10

          • #
            Hanrahan

            Why wouldn’t you believe it?

            Such a ship would have fire suppression systems able to contain gasoline fires. That the fire could NOT be contained is a strong indicator that Li Ion batteries were burning, and hot.

            Has halon been tested on battery fires?

            20

            • #

              Has halon been tested on battery fires?

              Yes, ..it doesnt work on Li batteries….
              And wouldnt be practical in an open space like a cargo deck.

              Such a ship would have fire suppression systems able to contain gasoline fires. That the fire could NOT be contained is a strong indicator that Li Ion batteries were burning, and hot.

              ..OR, that the fire suppression system was not operated, or maybe not even operational, ? (Pump failure etc ?)
              You do realise that on average there are 3 such total loss fires on vehicle transporter ships every year !.. and many others on general cargo vessels
              One of the most recent was carrying only diesel trucks,… but it burned and sank , even taking several crew with it .
              ….But not much of that made headlines… i wonder why ? …..No EVs ?

              20

    • #
      Ronin

      It is well known that the left control most of the media, so don’t hold your breath waiting for a factual report on this type of disaster, the insurance mob will research it thoroughly but may keep the results close to their chest for their own reasons.

      I would have thought the captain would have to be VERY careful as to what he divulges before any investigation takes place.

      40

      • #

        Ronin
        February 22, 2022 at 9:55 am · .

        I would have thought the captain would have to be VERY careful as to what he divulges before any investigation takes place

        Well that would have been the smart thing,…but he was quick to conclude the cause as an EV, and hence wound up a lynch mob of blood thirsty EV haters ….and maybe divert attention from any other possible cause !

        03

        • #
          Neville

          Chad can you please tell us what you like about TOXIC, super expensive EVs?
          Then tell us what difference EVs would make on the temp of the world by 2050 or 2100?
          Amazing how so called concerned people couldn’t care less about the environmental damage caused by both TOXIC EVs and the S & W disasters.

          40

          • #

            Jumping to conclusions again Neville ?
            Why do you assume i like EVs ?..
            I respect the technology in them up to a point , but they are too expensive, too heavy, and too limited in their application.
            However , i do think they are a good idea in as much as they can reduce the consumption of oil which we will need for many more vital products, chemicals, etc, in the future. Its a waste to use oil on transportation when there are viable alternatives.
            No, of course they wont alter the future global temperature.
            Battery tech is continuously changing, in 5 -10 yrs battery production could be a whole different process with completely different materials (Aluminium /Air ?)

            01

        • #

          l do not think its about a lynch mob of blood thirsty EV haters Chad LOL its about common sense safety

          its not about what started the fire, who cares fires start, it happens and it is dealt with
          but how about how you cannot extinguish the battery fires or the toxic plume, you just have to sit back and try to stop anything else from going up with it as it burns out

          20

          • #

            I expect a LOT of people will be concerned about what started the fire…insurance companies and car owners for a start !
            And actually you can stop a Lithium battery fire….by immersion in water.
            But if full immersion is not possible, it can also be “contained” to a relatively minor event , by continual flooding with water.
            I doubt there is a shortage of water or pumps on a freighter like that one.
            Remember also, that most modern cars EVs or ICE have large ammounts of alluminium/ magnesium alloys in their construction ..not just those fancy wheel rims, but engine and transmission casings, suspension components as well as body panels.
            Once that lot gets burning it can take a lot to contain it also .!

            10

            • #

              and that’s why the fire was no big deal they just doused the fire with water and it went out 😉

              these battery fires are very dangerous and it looks like you are not looking at the evidence that is being reported Chad

              a quote from G A’s link to there ABC report on the fire
              “Lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles on board are “keeping the fire alive”, Captain Cabeças said, adding that specialist equipment to extinguish it was on the way.”

              and

              “They also could not use water because adding weight to the ship could make it more unstable, Captain Cabeças said, and traditional water extinguishers did not stop lithium-ion batteries from burning.”

              00

    • #
      sophocles

      Chad

      There were over 3000 EVs on board. (3004 rings a faint bell … not to be taken as reliable)

      30

  • #
    beowulf

    Don’t leave battery-powered tools in the ute or car.

    “The main message we have is not to leave or store lithium-ion batteries in hot areas or in direct sunlight, as they can explode and cause a fire risk in your business or home.”

    The temperature averaged just over 30 deg C when the vehicle fire occurred. The battery was not being charged, just sitting there. The interior of the vehicle might have reached 50 or 55 deg, but if a 30 deg C day is considered too hot for safe battery storage, then where is it safe to store them in Australia? Keep your tools in the fridge?

    “Fortunately in this incident, the vehicle was unoccupied and no one was injured.” Mr Waite said.

    “Lithium-ion batteries are classified as a dangerous good, under the Australia Dangerous Goods Code,” Mr Waite said.

    https://www.theland.com.au/story/7615730/dont-leave-power-tools-on-the-back-seat-particularly-in-darwin/?cs=4947

    80

  • #
    Serge Wright

    30 years ago, before we were inflicted with loony left ideology, these batteries would be deemed an unacceptable hazard and banned.

    70

    • #
      Ronin

      I just hope that these toxic timebombs are no longer transported as cargo on passenger aircraft.

      40

    • #

      Well , you had better put your flameproof undies on , and get used to it …
      …because i doubt there is one household without a lithium battery or six lying about carelessly being ignored and abused ( discharged to much, or left on the charger) . BUT.. they do not seem to have been a massive problem.
      Remember the flaming Sony laptops, or the exploding Samsung phones,.. well , they came and went with few people concerned about leaving a laptop or two in their childs bedroom !
      What about all these cordless vaccums, bluetooth speakers, power tools, flash lights, etc etc …all with lithium power cells !
      Of course there is a risk of you house burning down from one of these….but probably less likely than the same event caused by a nice aromatic candle being forgotten one night !

      12

      • #
        sophocles

        I have one lithium battery and that’s in my cell phone.

        All my battery-powered tools use ni-cad batteries.

        40

        • #

          It will be a comfort to you to hear that i personally have had one NICad battery pack explode in my garage, and another glow red hot before i managed to dump it in a bucket of water !
          ALL batteries can be dangerous..
          There is a report of a house fire being started by a single 9v PP9 spare smoke alarm battery being put loose in a drawer with some tools. A metal object shorted the contacts, sparked onto a tissue, and started a chain reaction that destroyed half the house before it was extinguished.

          20

  • #
    Geoffrey+Williams

    Think of the sh*t loads of toxic pollution from this fire of 4000 vehicles on this Felicity Ace, not to mention the cost to the insurance passed on to consumers. Not a word from the media . .
    Contrast if this had been a ship load of coal on fire !!

    70

    • #
      sophocles

      Like the SS Titanic?

      One of the reasons it sank was weakened hull plating from a bunker (coal) fire, probably still burning at the time of the collision.

      Expensive method of putting it out …

      50

      • #
        Ronin

        “Like the SS Titanic?

        One of the reasons it sank was weakened hull plating from a bunker (coal) fire, probably still burning at the time of the collision.

        Expensive method of putting it out. ”

        At least it was fully out in 2hrs and 40 mins.

        00

  • #
    Jonesy

    All it takes to start a fire in a lithium battery is for a dendrite to start growing in solution and eventually short out the cell….then you have your ka-boom. No need for charging.

    50

  • #
    Ronin

    Not many folk know that good old lead acid batteries as used in WW2 type submarines can easily kill the crew if a few things go wrong, all it takes is for the boat to become unable to blow ballast and have seawater ingress sufficient to cover the cables and terminals of their massive batteries and voila, you get deadly chlorine gas in a confined space, not a nice ending.

    10

  • #
    Kneel

    “…i doubt there is one household without a lithium battery or six lying about carelessly being ignored and abused…”

    True enough – but how many are even 1 kW/hour? Most would be less than 100 W/hours!
    Car batteries for EV’s are multi-10’s of kW/hours, so 100’s if not thousand of times more energy.

    30

    • #

      Kneel
      February 22, 2022 at 12:44 pm · Reply
      “…i doubt there is one household without a lithium battery or six lying about carelessly being ignored and abused…”
      True enough – but how many are even 1 kW/hour? Most would be less than 100 W/hours!

      Did you see #16 ?
      Any small battery can start a fire ( see 17:2:1) and i am sure you heard of the burning Samsung phones and Sony laptops ?..or the recent “hoverboard” explosions .?
      If no one is around to react the fires can grow fast !

      00

  • #
    John of Sunbury

    I recently travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania with my car. They have no restrictions on EV’s so is that a disaster waiting to happen? (God forbid)

    Also I understand that airlines (in Australia) will not allow ebike batteries on passenger planes – obviously for good reason! I guess they don’t allow a can of petrol on either – but the can of petrol is not going to self ignite

    20

    • #

      John, you have a bigger Chance of enjoying an Alien abduction in Tassie , than suffering a fatal EV fire in the ferry.
      …Strange things can happen down there !

      00

  • #

    […] JoNova was on top of the story and found that, although it’s unknown whether the batteries had anything to do with starting the fire, which lasted five days, the risk from burning EVs powered by lithium batteries on ship was well known beforehand. Indeed, there have been other incidents. […]

    20

  • #
    Konrad

    There are three main problems with the current crop of EVs:

    1: Our power grids were never designed to supply the power for every home to recharge an EV. It is impossible that this could be achieved especially if unreliables continue to be added to the grid.

    2: The energy storage technology used was lithium batteries. This was the “low hanging fruit” approach that was only applicable to a small number of virtue signalers buying vehicles. This approach could never have been scalable to replace any significant percentage of hydrocarbon vehicles.

    3: There isn’t enough lithium in the world to replace the existing hydrocarbon fleet.

    The correct approach would be aluminium/air reactors* as opposed to lithium batteries. These can be “refueled” at a service station in the same time it takes to fill a petrol car, and offer superior power and range to petrol, and far greater crash safety than lithium or petrol. But the problem is infrastructure requirements. Electrolyte replacement and hydroxide recovery would need to be added to service stations and hydroxide to aluminium metal recycling added to smelters.

    *You can all build an aluminum air reactor at home. Take a stainless steel cup and attach a wire to the outside. Now get an aluminum backing tray and cut as strip 80% of the depth of the cup, and roll the strip into an open spiral of smaller diameter than the cup. Attach a second wire to the “fuel” coil. Fill the cup with a mild caustic solution or even salt water. Attach a volt meter to your two wires. Now partialy submerge the aluminum fuel coil in the cup and lightly agitate without it touching the sides of the cup. Observe the voltage generated. A salt water cell can generate around 0.7V and a caustic cell as much as 1.4V. (Advanced experimenters may wish to experiment with electrolyte temperature and aeration, but with care if using the mild caustic solution.)

    Aluminium is “solid electricity”. It takes around 11 MWH to smelt 1 tonne. Almost all that energy is recoverable from chemical conversion to aluminium hydroxide.

    The Aluminum/air reactor could be refueled at home, but service stations provide the simplest solution for recovery and recycling of the aluminium hydroxide reaction slurry. Note also that conducting such recycling at the smelter cuts out the transmission losses of charging a lithium EV off the domestic grid.

    00

    • #

      Konrad
      February 23, 2022 at 6:29 am ·

      Aluminium is “solid electricity”. It takes around 11 MWH to smelt 1 tonne. Almost all that energy is recoverable from chemical conversion to aluminium hydroxide.

      The Aluminum/air reactor could be refueled at home,

      Konrad,
      In releasing the electricity (very slow by the way), the Al/ air battery CONSUMES THE ALUMINIUM.
      Recharging entails replacing The entire pack once the aluminium has been consumed.
      Currently that is every few thousand kms.
      How would that be done at home ?

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        Konrad

        I was not proposing that the hydroxide produced by the reaction be recycled at home, but that it would be possible to replace the aluminium fuel and electrolyte at home. The waste hydroxide would need to be returned to a recycling station. However, using existing service stations is more practical.

        No, the entire pack doesn’t have to be replaced every few thousand kilometers, no more than does the engine and fuel tank of a petrol car. This is why I use the term “reactor” as opposed to “battery”. The aluminum is consumed in the reactor along with some of the water in the electrolyte just as petrol is consumed in current ICE vehicles.

        It is the fixed thinking about rechargeable batteries that has made current EVs an engineering and economic dead end. An effective aluminium/air reactor requires a fast moving fluid flow, just as an ICE engine. The moving electrolyte washes the air electrode screens of hydroxide, centrifugaly separates the hydroxide, moves waste nitrogen away from the electrodes and allows temperature control.

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    […] et de plus en plus apparent– d’explosion de sa batterie. C’est sans doute ce qui a causé cet incendie en plein Atlantique d’un cargo chargé de voitures de luxe […]

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