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Friday, February 10, 2012

History and mechanics of an Alkaline Battery

Ok, so now if you have been following along, we have covered acid based batteries thus far. So now we need to talk about the other form of battery, which is alkaline. See thus far I have covered acid based batteries because they have an acid electrolyte. But alkalines, as the name suggests, use an alkaline based electrolyte. Something that should be noted is that all of these electrolytes use either a rather acidic or an alkaline base. The reason for this is because that being so reactive they tend to freely give up their electrons, something which every battery should include.

First of all, it should be noted that alkalines gave a greater energy density than the Leclanché cells do. They also have a longer shelf life, and in certain instances are rechargeable. The alkaline battery gets its name from the potassium hydroxide electrolyte it uses.

Alkaline batteries were invented by Waldemar Jungner in 1899, and independently by Thomas Alva Edison in 1901.

Now we are up to talking about the chemistry behind alkaline batteries. First of all their anode (the -ve terminal) is made up of zinc powder. While the cathode (+ve terminal) is made up of manganese dioxide.

It goes without saying the capacity of an equally sized Leclanché cell battery. It is three to five times the capacity of the Leclanché in fact. The capacity of alkalines is rather dependent on what kind of load it is connected to. Well there you have the history and construction of alkaline batteries.

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