Hydrogen Gas Production and Ventilation During Battery Charging
The lead-acid batteries used with forklifts product hydrogen gas as a normal by-product of charging, especially as the batteries reach their maximum charging levels. This occurs because the charging electrical current splits water in the electrolyte into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, a nature process known as the electrolysis of water. Oxygen is present in high concentrations in the air we breathe, but hydrogen is rare and can spontaneously ignite causing a powerful explosion if it is allowed to accumulate. Therefore, charging rooms for forklift and other lead-acid batteries require specialized ventilation and monitoring systems to maintain hydrogen gas at safe levels, usually less than a 1% concentration.
Consult the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—and other applicable national, state, local, and industry organizations—for regulations, guidelines, and other information relevant to ventilating forklift battery charging areas.
NOTICE: The information provided by these calculators is for illustrative purposes only. While reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy, MTC is not responsible for any errors or omissions and does not guarantee any of the information. Consult with a certified professional to determine requirements.