Explosive Gases When Charging Batteries

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There may come a time when you need to jump start or change a car battery. Consumers should understand the complex chemical properties that occur in a charging battery, including the risk of explosive gases.

Chemicals

  • Batteries contain sulfuric acid mixed with lead plates. Sulfuric acid is hazardous; it burns through most clothing and may burn through your skin. Warning signs on batteries state that the acid may shoot toward your eyes, causing blindness.

Reaction

  • Most of the chemical compounds in a battery are in a water solution. The water solution causes a chemical reaction with the sulfuric acid. The reaction creates electrons, which are absorbed by the lead plates.

Emission

  • Hydrogen gas is created in the immediate area of the charging battery. This is not a concern to anyone's health, but hydrogen is very flammable. A direct open flame may cause an explosion, destroying the battery and harming anyone working on the car.

References

  • Photo Credit dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com
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