Batteries are electrochemical sources that produce energy as a result of specific reactions. Batteries can be used with a variety of mobile devices. They come in several variants, with different properties and applications. We rely on batteries every day, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Would you like to know what battery types are available?

In this article, you will find out:

  • what battery types are available,
  • what are the differences between them,
  • how you can use each of the available battery types.

Zinc-carbon batteries

That’s the first type of widely available battery. The cells come with zinc anodes and cathodes made of a carbon rod covered with manganese dioxide. The electrolyte is an aqueous solution of ammonium chloride or zinc chloride. The nominal rated voltage of the cells is 1.5 V.

Zinc-carbon batteries are relatively cheap but rather short-lived because they last only two years or so. Another disadvantage is the tendency of the electrolyte to leak in the event of deep discharge.

Zinc-carbon batteries are mainly used in devices with low energy consumption. These batteries are sometimes used in toys, flashlights, calculators, alarm clocks, radios, remote controls, safety razors, or electric toothbrushes.

batteries from green cell

Alkaline batteries

Alkaline batteries were invented in 1959, and now they are more popular than the previous, zinc-carbon type. They come with a greater capacity, longer life (up to 5 – 7 years), and can operate in a broader temperature range (from -30 to 70°C). 

Electrolyte leaks rarely happen in this battery type. But you have to pay more to enjoy these advantages.

Alkaline batteries have cells with a nominal rated voltage of 1.5 V. The cathodes are made of powder manganese dioxide, while the anodes are made of zinc oxide. The alkaline electrolyte is an aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide.

These batteries are most often used in devices with moderate or high energy consumption, such as portable players, cameras, stationary wireless phones, or electronic games.

Silver batteries

The nominal rated voltage of silver batteries is 1.55 V. The cathodes are made of silver oxide, the anodes are made of zinc, and the electrolyte is a solution of potassium hydroxide. 

Although these batteries were invented in the late 19th century, their mass production started only in the 1960s.

Among all primary batteries, this type has the largest capacity to weight ratio. These batteries are used in devices that require constant voltage – cameras, thermometers, watches, or games. They can be stored for ca. 2 years. Zinc is subject to corrosion in the alkaline electrolyte and starts to leak, which causes battery degradation and poses a threat to the environment.

Lithium-manganese batteries

Their nominal rated voltage is 3 V. Lithium-manganese batteries have anodes made of lithium and cathodes made of powder manganese dioxide. The electrolyte is organic. These batteries have high energy density and are resistant to fluctuating temperatures. Lithium-manganese batteries also have a low self-discharge ratio so they can be kept for up to 10 years.

With lithium-manganese batteries, devices can enjoy a greater capacity with a lower weight. This option is used to sustain the memory in watches, cameras, calculators, computers, or transmission systems

A photographer changes the battery in his SLR camera while shooting in the Studio. focus on the camera battery

Zinc-air batteries

Zinc-air batteries have a nominal rated voltage of 1.4 V. The cathode is oxide and the anode – powder zinc. The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide. They were invented back in the 19th century, but they became popular only in the 1930s. These batteries gained their current shape in the 1970s.

Their operation time is relatively short, ca. 3 – 4 months. Before you unpack them, you can store them for up to 4 years. They are mainly used in hearing aids and telemetric devices.

Mercury batteries

When discussing battery types, we should also mention mercury batteries. Their nominal rated voltage is 1.4 V, the cells come with mercury cathodes and zinc anodes, and the electrolyte is an aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide. This type is currently not available, because mercury has been proved harmful. Before, they were used in calculators or watches.

Have your pick of batteries in our online store!

Our product portfolio includes a wide range of batteries – you can choose from among  CR,  AA and  AAA types (also available as rechargeable batteries). Make sure you have enough batteries to provide your portable devices with a continuous energy supply!