Jungheinrich Warehouse Forklift
Environmental Concerns About Electric Lift Truck Batteries
The electric lift truck is generally considered more safe and stable than gas and diesel powered IC engines. Both gas and diesel engines pose a fire risk and emit harmful exhaust toxins. The electric forklift is not without is hazards however. They have rechargeable batteries as their source of power, and batteries can present risks to the natural world as well as to personal safety. There are hazards associated with the storage, disposal, manufacture and use of rechargeable batteries for forklifts.
The majority of lift truck batteries are made by placing lead plates into a sulfuric acid solution. These are called lead-acid rechargeable batteries. Lead is toxic which, when utilized in manufacturing processes, poses hazards to the quality of water due to runoff and drainage. Once lead enters a water system it could result in a variety of health problems to people and can even lead to death. The sulfuric acid utilized in forklift batteries is really harmful to skin and can result in severe burns. Sulfuric acid also produces harmful fumes which could cause damage to humans and the natural environment.
Regular Use and Storage
When recharging, the lead-acid battery can produce hydrogen gas as a chemical byproduct. When recharging batteries for a forklift or any other types of vehicle, smoking, sparks, flames and heat should be kept well away from the recharging site. The combustible hydrogen could cause an explosion if ignited by heat or flame.
Sulfuric acid in the batteries could lead to chemical burns if it comes into contact with bare skin. This is not a problem during normal use of the battery, but if a battery is damaged or punctured, the acid could spray or leak, potentially burning anyone who is nearby.
Incorrect disposal of lead-acid batteries should always be avoided. These batteries must be recycled correctly or reused in new batteries so that the sulfuric acid could either be neutralized or recycled. To prevent the serious environmental consequences of wrong disposal, all lead-acid batteries sold or bought in the United States include a "core charge" which will just be returned if the used battery is turned in.
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