Jungheinrich Warehouse Forklift
Environmental Issues About Electric Lift Truck Batteries
The electric lift truck is generally considered more stable and safe compared to diesel and gas powered IC engines. Both diesel and gas engines pose a fire risk and emit harmful exhaust toxins. The electric lift truck is not without is hazards though. They have rechargeable batteries as their source of power, and batteries could present risks to personal safety as well as to the natural environment. There are hazards associated with the use, manufacture, disposal and storage of rechargeable batteries for lift trucks.
The lift truck battery consists of lead plates being placed in a sulfuric acid solution, that are known as lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Lead is a toxin which, when used in manufacturing processes, poses hazards to water quality because of runoff and drainage. When lead enters a water system it can cause a range of health problems to people and can even result in death. The sulfuric acid utilized in forklift batteries is detrimental to skin and can result in severe burns. Sulfuric acid also produces toxic fumes that can cause damage to the natural environment and to human beings.
Normal Use and Storage
Lead-acid batteries could produce hydrogen gas as a chemical byproduct when recharging. When recharging batteries for any types of vehicle or a lift truck, smoking, sparks, heat and flames must be kept well away from the recharging site. The flammable hydrogen could lead to an explosion if ignited by heat or flame.
If it come into contact with bare skin, sulfuric acid in the batteries could result in chemical burns. This is not an issue during normal use of the battery, but if a battery is punctured or damaged, the acid could leak or spray, potentially burning anybody who is nearby.
Incorrect disposal of lead-acid batteries must always be avoided. These batteries must be recycled properly or reused in new batteries so that the sulfuric acid can either be recycled or neutralized. To prevent the serious environmental consequences of wrong disposal, all lead-acid batteries sold or purchased within the United States include a "core charge" that will just be returned if the used battery is turned in.
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