Mining Contract: High Energy Battery Thermal Runaway Alleviation Protection (TRAP) Flame Arrestor for Mine Safety

Contract # 75D30121C11477
Start Date 9/1/2021
Research Concept

A purpose-built flame arrestor and pressure relief system is needed for quenching lithium ion battery (LIB) thermal runaway gases to avoid igniting the surrounding explosive atmosphere inside gassy mines.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is ongoing. For more information on this contract, send a request to mining@cdc.gov.

The amount of free space available in conventional MSHA-approved XP enclosures may not be significantly voluminous to mitigate the pressure generated during a LIB thermal runaway event. This represents an acute safety concern for the mining industry, considering the incorporation of LIBs in conjunction with the recent emphasis to electrify mining equipment to improve safety, environmental footprint, and efficiency.

ADA will leverage its extensive experience with LIB failure as well as the early-stage development of a LIB cell-specific flame arrestor to design and implement a purpose-built flame arrestor for use in XP enclosures for applications in gassy mines. The thermal runaway alleviation protection (TRAP) arrestor will be comprised of:

  1. an XP-rated flange or joint to contain the arrestor components
  2. a primary burst disc
  3. flame arrestor elements
  4. a secondary burst disc
  5. baffles to support the flame arrestor elements
  6. a pressure-rated housing to contain the flame arrestor elements

By combining these elements into a flame arrestor system compliant with 30 CFR 18, ADA will design and develop a flame arrestor specifically for lithium-ion battery thermal runaway events for underground gassy mine applications. ADA will leverage the extensive experience of its key personnel and project partners in performing and quantifying LIB failure events; in particular, the pressure spikes associated with failure events in sealed enclosures as well as mitigation of thermal runaway propagation.

ADA recently developed a LIB safety enclosure for the Navy, reaching TRL 6 by the end of Phase II. ADA performed extensive testing and modeling of the pressure spikes and explosive gas mixtures generated when a LIB fails in a sealed enclosure. Additionally, ADA is well-versed in mechanical system design and the chemical engineering principles of heat exchange and gas transport, making ADA an ideal candidate to successfully execute the research.


Page last reviewed: 1/14/2022 Page last updated: 1/14/2022