Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Being surrounded by the world full of gadgets working on battery has made our lives very easy. Talking about the batteries makes us think about the two major kinds of batteries that we come across in our day to day, one being the chargeable battery and the other being the non-chargeable battery. What is the difference in the composition or the making that makes one reusable and the other a onetime use battery?

Batteries which are the tiny power house of energy are basically of two kinds:

  1. Primary cell– the non-reusable which is the non-rechargeable one.
  2. Secondary cell– the reusable which is the rechargeable one.

In the non- rechargeable cell we have the basic Cathode and Anode reaction through which the electrons flow and thus electricity is generated. Although, the same process takes place in a secondary cell as well but the difference here lies in the chemicals used. Here the Cathode is made of Manganese and Anode is made up of zinc powder. For electrolyte we use Potassium Hydroxide, thus having a high level of H+ ions. The ions suck the electrons from the electrode from the Anode and then the Cathode sucks it through the electrolyte. Due to this movement of ions electricity is generated. During this process the Anode gets corroded and thus cannot conduct any more electricity. This is one of the reasons that why whenever we shake or chew a battery we get some power out of it. Yes! A definite suggestion-don’t ever try to recharge  an alkaline battery, the reason being that when the ions of this solution will be forced for a reverse reaction due to the abundance of hydrogen ions it might burst.

Coming down to the reusable and rechargeable batteries. They are also known as Lithium-Ion batteries. This covers the major market of the rechargeable batteries. The composition of the electrode Cathode and Anode are very different as compared to the alkaline batteries. Here we have Lithium Cobalt oxide LiCoO2 on the Cathode and carbon for the Anode. The process of generating electricity is the same as that of the alkaline batteries but the basic difference here lies in the cost of the chemicals and compounds used in the making of the different batteries.

Elements chosen in an alkaline battery use cheaper material like manganese and potassium here as the Li-Ion battery uses lithium which is an expensive element to be used. This is one of the major reasons why lithium batteries don’t come in the AA size. As they are pretty expensive as compared to the alkaline batteries.

Li-Ion batteries are usually found in gadgets like mobile phones and laptops where as alkaline batteries can be simply found in the torches or the remote of any electronic appliance. Although, slowly we do a shift towards the rechargeable batteries but to take over the low cost make of alkaline battery Li-Ion batteries still have to come a far way.

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