UN working group looks to amend lithium battery classification

UN working group looks to amend lithium battery classification

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The United Nations Transport of Dangerous Goods Sub-Committee Informal Working Group is working to establish test methods and criteria by which lithium batteries can be more affectively regulated based on their inherent hazards.

The group is meeting this week in Brussels, Belgium, and virtually online.

Regulatory agencies and international organizations are increasingly concerned with the prevention of battery fires in transport, such as those that have sporadically occurred aboard aircraft and trucks. The UN Working Group is considering regulations and a new classification system of lithium batteries based on risk factors such as chemistry, form factor, quantities of flame, heat and gas released, and whether they propagate when a cell is intentionally forced into thermal runaway.  

A new classification system would require lithium battery manufacturers to test batteries to assess and better understand the risk they pose in transport. The objective is to incentivize battery manufacturers to understand the risks posed and to design safer batteries. 

Last year Toyota provided advice on hazard-based classification. This year Kulr Technology is providing advice to the working group. Kulr develops technologies to protect lithium battery packs in environments such as space and electric vehicles.

“Kulr agrees with regulators and industry experts that sound battery design, testing and packaging play a critical role in reducing the likelihood of cells and batteries experiencing thermal events. These factors are also crucial in reducing the hazards when a cell or battery experiences a thermal event,” said Michael Mo, CEO of Kulr.

“Reducing the probability and limiting the effects of mass thermal runaway propagation is an absolute must. Kulr is strategically suited to support the UN Working Group’s initiatives and is eager to provide solutions to meet current and future regulatory requirements. We look forward to participating in this incredible meeting to pursue next-level safety standards for today’s battery technology.”;

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