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The Flt 370 Lithium-Ion Battery Theory

By Ted Twietmeyer


Lithium-ion batteries are well known for their chemical instability which can start 2000F fires. Several Tesla cars and other vehicles burn so hot nothing can put out the fire. Foam and water simply turn to steam.

Here is a page from the cargo manifest - listing 1,990 (Kg?) chargeable weight for a shipment of lithium-ion batteries.

1,990 is in kilograms equals 4,387 POUNDS of lithium-ion batteries - more than 2 tons.

Some may counterclaim that smoke detectors would alert the crew to a fire. But perhaps not. Maybe smoke detector(s) malfunctioned on the flight, the fire destroyed the fire warning system wiring or smoke and  detectors did could not detect the fire where it broke out.

It's very hard to comprehend the market value of this big lithium battery shipment. A aircraft fire would give both the lithium-ion battery industry and the manufacturer a bad reputation if just one related fire brings down a aircraft. Perhaps this is why the cockpit voice was edited? Without a doubt, a lithium fire is hot enough to ignite aluminum all aircraft is constructed of.

In the USA, it is FORBIDDEN by FAA regulations to ship any lithium-ion batteries on a commercial flight due to the threat of fire.

Aluminum melts at 1,221F. Lithium burns far hotter, around 2,000F. Aluminum will catch fire if heated hot enough.

From a scientific paper we learn what can happen to any lithium battery:

If the battery is undergoing a thermal runaway reaction then a explosion or fire is inescapable. In normal use of the battery, the temperature is below 40C. But abusing a cell with a short circuit, overcharge, apply reverse polarity or expose to high temperature, will cause the temperature to rise quickly. When the temperature exceeds 66.5C, more reactions occur and generate more heat to quicken self heating reaction.

Thereafter, if the temperature is over 75C, then the reaction will continue with no return to normal. With increased chain reaction gas and heat are accumulated. Once the inner pressure exceeds the battery endurance, explosion is inescapable. Fragments can easy be ignited and cause fire. [1]

NOTE: Temperatures over 75C is the run-away temperature for lithium batteries - just 167F. Cars, vans and trucks can almost reach this temperature under a hot summer hot sun.

Even if the flight crew discovered the fire in time, it's unlikely they could get close enough to put it out. Note the FIRE warning stated on the manifest for the shipment below:


Ted Twietmeyer

Source of manifest:
[1] -


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