CCR Logistics Systems AG launches new return system for lithium-ion batteries
Whether for smartphones, e-bikes or electric cars – lithium-ion batteries are gaining popularity thanks to their high capacity and performance. The increasing use of this medium for energy storage has led to the creation of a somewhat complex regulatory framework, taking into account national and international requirements. That is important because the incorrect handling of this type of battery can cause fires, which is why their return is subject to special legal requirements. On 4 February CCR Logistics Systems AG (CCR) and Fire-Shield I AG will present their new return systems, which allow even heavily damaged lithium-ion batteries to be stored, transported and recycled safely and in an environmentally friendly manner, at the specialist conference “Lithium batteries in logistics” in Frankfurt am Main.
Companies that deal with used and damaged lithium-ion batteries should take a close look at the European regulations regarding storage and transportation, which have been implemented with their safety in mind. Under international transport law, such batteries are considered dangerous goods and are subject to strict regulations regarding packaging and transportation. Damaged lithium-ion batteries, in particular are a considerable safety risk. That’s where CCR’s solutions, which draw on years of experience in the Europe-wide return and disposal of rechargeable and disposable batteries, come into play. The company’s services range from packaging, collection and transportation to recycling, statutory performance monitoring and detailed reporting. “CCR offers customers a full package of solutions for defective and critical battery systems,” explains Oliver Bursch, Director Business Unit Recycling Returns & Trade at CCR. “Regardless of the type or size of the lithium-ion battery involved – we can develop a safe and uncomplicated logistical solution, including recycling according to statutory requirements.” To achieve that the return specialist uses containers and packaging systems for the storage and transportation of lithium-ion batteries developed by Fire-Shield I AG, which will also be presented at the “Lithium batteries in logistics” conference on 4 February 2015.
CCR has been providing return logistics to automobile manufacturers, importers and repair shop associations, which organize centralized systems for the transportation and disposal of repair shop waste including dangerous goods such as lead batteries, oil and fuel filters, aerosols and air bags in accordance with the applicable statutory guidelines for many years, so the company is already familiar with the legal requirements regarding the transportation of dangerous goods. Those services have included the disposal and recycling of lithium-ion batteries at the end of their life cycle for a number of years, giving CCR the experience required for such solutions.
Individual transport modules
Now, CCR will offer a return system for damaged and critical lithium-ion batteries with a weight of up to 40 kilograms, including those used in e-bikes, golf carts, electric tools, boats and solar systems, and customers will be able to register easily. The system relies on an innovative box-in-box system developed in cooperation with Fire-Shield I AG. Small boxes are provided to customers. Depending on size and weight, they may contain several batteries. They also serve as a safe storage solution, which is necessary because it can take several days for a damaged lithium-ion battery to react dangerously. To ensure that a thermal runaway in a battery does not cause a fire, they are equipped with PyroBubbles®, filled cushions that guarantee maximum safety. The lightweight granules absorb heat and ensure that the external temperature of the container remains uncritical, even in the case of a thermal runaway in a battery, preventing a fire in the vicinity. Once a box is full, collection can be arranged easily by telephone or via CCR NET. Once the packaging has been checked on location by a trained driver, up to four such containers can be stored in a large box, which is then transported to a recycling plant in an ADR-compliant vehicle.
Together with manufacturers across Europe, CCR develops individual return solutions for batteries weighing over 35 kilograms – primarily from the automobile sector – based on the Fire-Shield LIONGUARD® container concept. Here CCR relies on years of experience with its established return systems for lithium-ion batteries. They help the company plan and manage tailored return solutions based on the requirements of its customers. The return specialist not only helps manufacturers secure the necessary agreements and organize safe recycling, but also offers advice regarding the development of special containers by cooperation partners. Once collection has been requested, a pallet-sized container from the CCR container pool is delivered to the required location. A customer’s own containers can also be used. The damaged lithium-ion battery is lifted into the container by qualified staff and surrounded with loose PyroBubbles® before transportation to the recycling plant by a special vehicle. In either case, CCR guarantees compliance with all statutory processes for the disposal of dangerous goods and provides the necessary proof of volumes and recycling for submission to the relevant authorities.
“The innovative LIONGUARD® container and packaging concept guarantees the safe delivery of damaged energy storage media to certified recycling plants,” says Bursch. Visitors to the “Lithium batteries in logistics” specialist conference can get a more detailed picture of the transport modules used at the joint CCR and Fire-Shield stand in the foyer of the conference facilities. Alexander Lehmann, Managing Director of Fire-Shield I AG and Oliver Bursch will also take part in the expert forum on the subject of the new return system.