Detection and measurement of toxic gases from destructive testing of batteries

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Courtesy of CIC Photonics, Inc.

Problem Statement

New formulations of organic-compound-based batteries for vehicle use must be tested for release of potentially harmful and toxic gases if crushed in accidents. Potential gases include hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons, and hydrogen fluoride, released within seconds of an incident. Actual time-resolved and quantitative data are required from destructive testing to ascertain the severity of the toxic gas releases, if any, and under what simulated accident circumstances.

IRGAS Applicability

The IRGASTM Turnkey Gas Analysis Solution is based upon FTIR Spectroscopy, Short and/or Long Path Gas Cells, and Quantitative Software--SPGASTM. FTIR spectroscopy is capable of detecting and measuring all infrared active gas and vapor species; not included are the monotomics and homopolar diatomics. A Short or Long Path Gas Cells can be selected with an appropriate pathlength to match the detection limit required. The SPGAS Quantitative Gas Analysis Software provides ppb sensitivity and fast time response, along with internal gas calibrations.

User Site and Test Description

The battery destruction tests were performed within an explosionproof test room at a national laboratory. Tests consisted of high impact crushes of single and multiple batteries. Gas samples were collected in two ways: vacuum draw into gas cell from extraction tube placed directly next to single battery; and vacuum draw from room volume from simultaneous crushes of multiple batteries.

IRGAS System Description

IRGAS-100SP, consisting of: ABB Bomem WorkIR FTIR with DTGS Detector; two alternate-use gas cells: heated 5-cm Scout-EN with AR-coated ZnSe windows and heated 4Runner 6.5-meter with AR-coated ZnSe windows; CICP f/5 Optical Couplers; suspension mounts; SPGAS and SpectraStream Software

Sample Data

See the attached figures for three dimensional displays of the time release of the gases generated from the several destructive tests.

Solution Achieved

The IRGAS System proved to be capable of detecting gas and vapor species released from the crushed batteries within seconds after test initiation. Most of the species were hydrocarbons and fluorocarbons; also released were CO and CO2. Detection of HF is still in process. The IRGAS System proved to be a more compact instrumentation package and simpler to operate than any other method tried by the national laboratory for this application. It provided definitive results within the required time of each test sequence. Equally important was that the IRGAS System paid for itself within three months of use.

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