Originally Posted by RC Man
Is it true that LiPo batteries donít really have lithium in them but only harmless compounds and thatís the reason that they are not hazardous material when you dispose of them?
No metallic Li no. The Li present is in a ceramic compound (eg LiMnO4 but there are others) and goes straight to Li Ions in solution.
The danger in Li rechargeable batteries is that high enough temps can cause the electrolyte to decompose (exothermic reaction) producing various hydrocarbons and enough heat to cause the electrode to decompose and produce oxygen. You can probably see what happens next.
However certain designs (LiFePO4 for example) are highly resistant to this behaviour