Characteristics of lithium-ion batteries during fire tests
Journal article, 2014

Commercial lithium-ion battery cells are exposed to a controlled propane fire in order to evaluate heat release rate (HRR), emission of toxic gases as well as cell temperature and voltage under this type of abuse. The study includes six abuse tests on cells having lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes and, as a comparison, one test on conventional laptop battery packs with cobalt based cathode. The influence of different state of charge (SOC) is investigated and a limited study of the effect of water mist application is also performed. The total heat release (THR) per battery energy capacity are determined to be 28-75 kJ Wh(-1) and the maximum HRR values to 110-490 W Wh(-1). Hydrogen fluoride (HF) is found in the released gases for all tests but no traceable amounts of phosphorous oxyfluoride (POF3) or phosphorus pentafluoride (PF5) are detected. An extrapolation of expected HF emissions for a typical automotive 10 kWh battery pack exposed to fire gives a release of 400-1200 g HF. If released in a confined environment such emissions of HF may results in unacceptable exposure levels.

Phosphorous oxyfluoride

Lithium ion


Hydrogen fluoride


Heat release rate


Carl Fredrik Larsson

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

P. Andersson

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

P. Blomqvist

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

Anders Lorén

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

Bengt-Erik Mellander

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

Journal of Power Sources

0378-7753 (ISSN)

Vol. 271 414-420

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Materials Science

Subject Categories

Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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9/6/2018 1