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 Post subject: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Niles Canyon Railway, near Sunol, CA
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Edison originally made Nickel-Iron wet-cell storage batteries in nickel-plated steel cases. ("Storage battery" = rechargeable battery.) The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide, a strong base. These were commonly used in railroad passenger cars for 32 VDC lighting.

Later (1970s?) Edison made Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) wet-cell storage batteries in translucent plastic cases. These also used potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte.

See attached photo. The battery on the right has an original label, identifying it as an Edison Nickel-Cadmium storage battery. It has orange-pink (maybe originally red?) plastic caps. The other battery in the photo, in the same type of translucent plastic case, has yellow plastic caps.

Does anyone know if the cap color means anything? Is there any chance the yellow caps indficate NiFe instead of NiCad?

Thanks very much,
Doug Debs
Niles Canyon Railway hazmat manager

P.S.: The potassium hydroxide electrolyte is dangerous. It destroys eye tissue very quickly. Read and observe safety warnings before handling these batteries.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:57 pm
Posts: 20
Don't know if this is the same company but they still make NiFe batteries so they might know

https://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery


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 Post subject: Re: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 563
They are both identified by the model # on the case as ED-80. All Nicad.

good luck getting rid of them. I hear it's absurdly expensive. They DO have a long life, if they are working, keep using them!


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 Post subject: Re: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
Posts: 171
Pegasuspinto wrote:
good luck getting rid of them. I hear it's absurdly expensive. They DO have a long life, if they are working, keep using them!


I have a bunch with blue caps.

Yes, the cheapest company I could find to take them wants $0.70 PER POUND but they will come pick them up at least...

I have 4 pallets to dispose of, all the SPV-2000 had 8 each...

_________________
Adam McDowell
Shaw Air Force Base Rail Operations
Superintendent, Foxville and Northern Railroad


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 Post subject: Re: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:56 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1087
Why do you need to dispose of them?

In a pinch just passivate the electrolyte by titrating with an appropriate acid that gives reasonably safe half-reactions, then decant and store the result if you want.

Then allow the chambers inside the battery to dry naturally, and with the caps on you shouldn't have any trouble with cadmium getting 'where it shouldn't'.

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Edison NiCad battery disposal
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Niles Canyon Railway, near Sunol, CA
I just bought two 10-lb boxes of citric acid powder, at $87.62/box (McMaster-Carr, item #4235T24), so we are equipped to to neutralize accidental spills of the potassium hydroxide electrolyte used in Edison NiCad and NiFe wet-cell batteries.

Intentionally neutralizing the electrolyte for disposal would be more expensive paying to legally dispose of the Edison NiCad batteries "as is".

A single Edison size ED-80 NiCad cell, filled with electrolyte, weighs about 17 lbs. At $0.60 to $0.70 per lb, it will cost $10-$12 to dispose of.

The NiCad recyclers melt down and reuse the cadmium and nickel. That's the right thing to do. When you're inspected by your local hazmat dept. inspector, you'll need a paper trail to prove you disposed of NiCad batteries legally.

Here in California we have a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) program, basically Household Hazardous Waste disposal for small businesses. CESQG is perfect for smallish quantities of miscellaneous hazmat. Our usual environmental service companies (Veolia, Safety-Kleen, etc) charge by the 55-gal drum, so smaller quantities are not economical for them to handle.

- Doug Debs

Alternately, here is a company that handles large quantities of NiCad batteries for recycling: https://www.batteryrecyclersofamerica.com/battery-recycling-service/?&utm_campaign=NonTM%20-%20Battery%20Disposal%20LV&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=252452357480&utm_term=nicad%20batteries%20recycling&gclid=CjwKCAjwkYDbBRB6EiwAR0T_-nrtNk9MKzLY0vNcd1CrlqYy-sa0uMmkwc5Xxmt3Qre9C5t2fI6luhoCoMIQAvD_BwE
"Battery Recycling, Made Simple.

We make recycling spent batteries efficient, quick and rewarding. Our comprehensive process is EPA approved from pickup to completion and covers a wide variety of battery types, including Sealed Lead Acid Batteries, Lithium Ion Batteries, UPS Batteries, Telecom Batteries, Industrial Batteries, Absolyte Batteries, NiCad Batteries and car batteries, including those for electronic vehicles (Lithium Iron batteries).

Our process is comprehensive and easy, and depending on the type of battery you recycle with us, you may even qualify for cash for your spent batteries.

If you have more than 500 lbs. of spent batteries and need a simple and convenient solution for your battery waste, fill out the form to the right for a free quote."


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 Post subject: Re: Edison NiCad (or NiFe?) batteries: red vs yellow caps
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 334
These batteries are very popular with the off grid folk. If anyone wants to get rid of them just offer them up on the DIY Solar and Wind power websites. They wont stick around long.

Robert


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