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    What are the Disposal Guidelines for Lithium Batteries?

    General
     
    The overall discharge reaction of the ACT Lithium/Thionyl Chloride cells is described by the following chemical equation:
                                          2SOCl2 + 4Li  SO2 + S + 4LiCl
    The Thionyl Chloride presents in fresh cells is subsequently converted into lithium chloride during discharge. Some amounts of sulfur and sulfur dioxide are also formed. Generally, in fully discharged cells 90-95% of the Thionyl Chloride reacts in accordance with the above equation. When Lithium/Thionyl Chloride cells are disposed of in an open landfill, they will eventually discharge and may open by corrosion of the can. In this case the residual Thionyl Chloride will react with moisture to form sulfur dioxide and hydrogen chloride.
                                          SOCl2 + H2O  SO2 + 2HCl
    The remaining cell components include the carbon cathode, lithium chloride, aluminum chloride, metallic can, cover and current collector. Metallic lithium is almost completely consumed in a fully discharged cell.
     
    There is no long lasting contamination as a result of disposal of Lithium/Thionyl Chloride cells. There are only hazards associated with the neutralization and disposal processes. Once neutralized, the end products of deactivated batteries are not toxic.
     
    ACT Lithium/Thionyl Chloride cells do not contain malicious or hardly decomposable pollutants like heavy metals or organic solvents, which have lasting toxic environmental effects. The batteries are free of mercury, lead, manganese, and cadmium.
     
    Instructions for Disposal
     
    1. Guidelines for the disposal of lithium batteries are continually under review. ACT can be contacted if additional disposal guidance is required. Waste management companies can provide assistance in the disposal of these cells and batteries.
     
    2. Disposal should be done in accordance with applicable regulations, which vary from country to country. In most countries trashing of used batteries is forbidden and disposal can be done through non-profit organizations mandated by local authorities or organized by professionals.
     
    3. Cells and batteries should not be incinerated, unless suitable procedures are followed and qualified handlers have taken appropriate precautions. Exposure of these cells to high temperatures or fire can cause the cells to vent and/or rupture.
     
    4. Used batteries should be shipped with the same regulations as those for new Lithium/ Thionyl Chloride batteries.
     
    5. ACT recommends that cells and batteries for disposal should be collected, transported and disposed of in a manner that will prevent short-circuit (all leads should be cut-off and the terminals taped).
     
    6. Handling of used cells and batteries should be done according to the safety instructions of fresh cells.
     
    7. Recycling of the cells and batteries should be done in authorized facilities, through licensed waste carrier.
     

     

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