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Chemical Reaction Produces Hydrogen Gas
DCPS Blog by Darrin Rolfe

12/30/15 Today one of our clients had a hydrogen explosion in the workplace. There's a chemical reaction that occurs with lead acid batteries producing hydrogen gas.

Exterior of factory with shutter door night time.

Safety Considerations

Despite the enormous growth in the use of batteries as a primary energy solution over the past two decades, the flooded lead acid battery remains a preferred and reliable solution for many applications in the industrial sector. The longer service life and performance predictability of a flooded cell battery is an acceptable trade-off to the generally higher maintenance requirements.

With the primary focus being on human and system safety there is a chemical reaction we want you to be aware of. This chemical reaction impacts battery life, maintenance economics, and poses a health risk. A critical consideration for any user considering a flooded battery solution centers on the issue of hydrogen evolution.

What is Hydrogen Evolution?

During a boost in battery charging, or overcharging, when a cell has achieved approximately 95% of its charge, a chemical reaction occurs between the water/sulfuric acid solution and the lead plates which produces hydrogen gas, resulting in a health risk to staff.

Video by HowStuffWorks: How Lead Batteries are Made

What Can You Do?

Maintain proper liquid electrolyte levels and concentrations in the flooded battery. Battery maintenance and proper watering are critical to the long-term life and performance of the flooded lead acid battery and we can help.

Peace of Mind

We have services to help you manage hydrogen evolution:
 > Scheduled maintenance program  > Battery room consulting
 > Mobile Battery Wash
 > Hydrogen gas detector
 > HVAC ventilation design

If you would like any information related to batteries and charging we're always happy to help! Let's talk 1-800-326-0691.
Have a safe and prosperous New Year!