Lithium Battery Transport Research Program

Review of Environmental Conditions during Freight Transportation

As the global demand for lithium batteries continues to increase, so does the demand for safe shipping particularly by air.

In this study, NRC assesses the environmental, mechanical and human induced conditions that lithium batteries are exposed to while in the transportation cycle. The study focuses on the risks posed by lithium batteries and will help to explore effective mitigation strategies for air shipments in various segments of the supply chain.

During transportation, lithium batteries are exposed to many environmental stressors, including low pressure (due to altitude), high humidity, temperature extremes, high rates of temperature change and air quality. While there are a number of cell and battery standards as well as shipping and packaging standards to address some of these exposures, gaps still exist in currently adopted standards and testing related to mechanical stressors such as shock, vibration, drop, puncture and abrasion.

Human factors are also important to consider when assessing the risks associated with lithium battery transportation. Appropriate, standardized procedures for safe handling and transportation are required to avoid serious incidents. However, many of the existing requirements are difficult to monitor for compliance.

Further investigation is required to identify the gaps in battery certification and shipping standards, as well as inconsistencies between different standards.

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Lithium Batteries Market Data Collection and Analysis Final Report

In this study, NRC explores the supply chain and commodity flows of lithium batteries and equipment containing lithium batteries in Canada to better understand and mitigate the hazards involved with the transportation of lithium battery shipments, with a focus on products travelling by air.

The report includes global and Canadian trade data analyses of lithium batteries and products containing batteries. It also contains data and trends in the global lithium battery market and an industry survey on the transportation of lithium batteries and practices within various organizations in the Canadian supply chain.

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