Viridor offers to fund battery detection technology

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Marcus Du Pree Thomas, Viridor development manager and co-ordinator of technology and information

Recycling and renewable company Viridor has offered £75,000 to fund research into developing technology to detect lithium ion batteries.

Known as the biggest cause of waste industry fires, the rechargeable batteries widely used in mobile phones and laptops can produce high temperatures under great pressure.

Viridor has identified five key challenges to battery detection in the waste stream: detection in collection vehicles; on conveyor belts; differentiating between batteries and other metallic scrap and detecting heat or fumes from a burning battery in waste bunkers.

Marcus Du Pree Thomas, development manager and co-ordinator of technology and information, said: “We are inviting recipients to propose what they can achieve for one or more of these challenges and by what dates.

“Proposals may supplement a bid for £25,000 of funding with an additional proposal for up to a maximum of £50,000 funding which allows extra certainty and progress to be made. Additional funding may be available if this call is shared by other industry partners.”

Thomas said that the funding is in response to the growing problem of waste fires.

He added: “During the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of fires at waste recycling plants across the world of which many have been attributed to batteries.

“Many of these fires are extinguished at the point of ignition but the large waste volumes sometimes present can result in large fires with very serious consequences.”

For more information call the Energy Innovation Centre on 0151 348 8040 and quote the reference number Call VIR-17-01 before 25 October, 2017.

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