Batteries generate hydrogen as part of the electrochemical reaction that produces power. When mistreated this hydrogen evolution can be very rapid, leading to hydrogen concentrations exceeding the safe limit of 4,000 ppmv in air. Please note that this limit can vary depending on many factors and the reader is referred to the literature to further their understanding of the issues at hand. In addition to the literature, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory keeps a database of reported hydrogen related incidents at h2incidents.org.
The explosive nature of hydrogen has long been understood. However, in recent years, with the proliferation of battery driven devices at the consumer level, the number of incidents have risen dramatically. While this increase is commonly noted in sealed devices like water proof children’s bathtub toys or immersible scientific instrumentation, it is also ever more common in unsealed units like computers or smart phones.
Batteries themselves are designed to rupture in a hydrogen excursion incident. For unsealed devices that is often enough to prevent serious injury to the user, albeit the damage to the device is often terminal. The risk increases significantly when a device is sealed to make it waterproof. The hydrogen no longer can escape through leakage or rupture of the battery and is contained within the device. Hydrogen concentrations can rapidly exceed 4,000 ppmv, creating an explosive atmosphere. All it takes for a potentially serious explosion to occur is a small spark or arc.
PolyGetter™ BR pellets are designed to solve hydrogen build up problems. PolyGetter™ BR works by a recombination reaction where the hydrogen is reacted with oxygen in the air present in the device to produce water vapor. The end result is that the concentration of hydrogen is reduced and the relative humidity inside the device is slightly increased.
PolyGetter™ BR is supplied in the form of pellets:
Dimensions: 0.170" diameter x 0.130" height
Weight: ~0.060 grams
Performance: PolyGetter BR performance is dependent on the installation and operational conditions they are exposed to. For example, if hydrogen can easily reach the pellets and sufficient atmospheric oxygen is present, the hydrogen removal rate can be quite high. If the flow of hydrogen and oxygen is restricted to the pellet the rate drops, as the available hydrogen and oxygen is lower. Please contact us to discuss the design configuration for your particular installation.
PolyGetter™ BR is RoHS compliant.
PolyGetter™ BR getters are optimized for use in battery compartments operating in normal ambients. If your operating case is at extremely low or high temperatures please contact us.
PolyGetter™ For Industrial Applications
PolyGetter™ BR technology is not just for consumer devices, it is also engineered to solve industrial and scientific problems. Many different physical formats are available to meet your needs. Please contact us with your requirements.