Thought I post this, Maxwell lithium leak

Wurkkos

Illum

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Apr 29, 2006
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Central Florida, USA
Unfortunately I only had one picture, A PCB mounted maxwell memory protection battery was desoldered from a piece of equipment and still held 60% charge. It was left on one of the many shelves in my utility shed. Normally I would be in there frequently but thank goodness I was busy for the last two weeks are scarcely time for me to go in. What a mess, its incredible how much of this coke like liquid came out of this tiny battery. From the spray pattern, it was no slow leak. A battery left on a glass shelf, in a shed that is tree-lined 90% of the day, internal short?


2ijizye.jpg

* added for work safety:)

What really freaked me out was that everything in the vicinity, within 12" of ground zero, contact or no contact to the black fluid, all of my steel tweezers, hardware, picks, and probes rusted to a creamed coffee color. All pieces of aluminum, painted or not, now has a hard silvery coating, as if it was severely reduced chemically.

I started cleaning my work bench almost immediately, didn't think to grab a pic until I was about to toss the actual battery. Minutes after I took the picture I began to feel dizzy. My eyes were itchy but I was afraid to use my hands. There were no "sweet lithium smell" to be found. Hurried out to open air, brought in a blower and bagged everything along with a ton of absorbent. The sheds windows are all open, blower will be running all night. If there's anything I missed, I'll take more pictures tomorrow.
 
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bshanahan14rulz

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Wow, don't know what happened here, and I too am amazed at the volume of "lithium syrup." Almost makes me wonder if something else above it leaked onto it and shorted it, or if it dissolved something that it was sitting on top of. Glad it was just your shed!
 

GunnarGG

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Sweden
Looks pretty nasty.

You wrote that it was desoldered - could it be something about that, that it got to warm in that process?
Just a thought...

Do you have any idea of when it happened or could it actually have happened 5 min after you put it on the shelf?
 

Illum

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It was taken off of a circuit board roughly a year ago. I never did found another application for it. It sat in that very location all this time. It was estimated at least 10ml of this blackish sticky stuff ran its way down and left quite a puddle in a a small can of loose hardware. Among them steel rusted and aluminum reduced. Painted Aluminum heatsinks nearby stripped the paint off and developed a white hard shell while heatsinks underneath stayed intact.

ZTS didn't have a reading for it, but it read 2.9V OCV. What I'm guessing happened was that the vent seal went for reasons unbeknownst to me, inner material reacted with humidity, gassed off, and that humidity turned into condensate. Given the amount of fluid I had to clean up with absorbent and paper towels, it would only have been possible if the entire battery guts liquefied. However, from NewBie's pics lithium cells are just rolls of electrodes
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?115844-123-cell-protection-anatomy-revealed
 
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ginbot86

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Aug 18, 2013
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Calgary, AB, CA
Doing a Google search for "maxell super lithium" shows that this was Li-SOCl2 (lithium thionyl chloride) battery. Looking at this Maxell datasheet it looks like an OCV of 2.9 volts means the battery is pretty much dead.

As for the rampant corrosion, thionyl chloride reacts with water (both liquid and vapour form) to form hydrochloric acid and sulphur dioxide (found from Tadiran's MSDS sheet). Yikes!
 
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