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How Are Batteries Made? A Look Behind the Scenes

Li-ion batteries

What chemicals are used in batteries? What materials are batteries made of? How are batteries made?

If you ever asked yourself at least one of the above questions, from this article you can learn everything you need to know about battery manufacturing, and what chenicals and materials are used in the process.

Have you ever wondered what goes into the batteries that power your life?

From lithium batteries to phone batteries to car batteries, an average two-person household has 20-60 batteries in use at any time.

Since you use them so often, you’ve probably asked yourself, “How are batteries made and what are they made of?”
Read on and learn more!

How Are Batteries Made?

Despite their different uses, all batteries use a similar method to create electricity.

A battery has two important, primary components: a cathode and an anode. Cathodes are metals combined with oxygen, either naturally or synthetically. This combination creates an oxide.

An anode is a metal that has not yet been allowed to oxidize.

Cathodes and anodes can be placed into an electrolyte, with their other ends connected. When this happens, the anode draws oxygen to itself, creating a battery’s electrical current.

In most cases, the electrolyte is a chemical. This site has more information on chemicals and how to purchase them.

Different Battery Types

While all batteries share the same basic construction, their uses, and the ability to reverse the reactions they create vary.

This creates various battery types, which are used in different appliances and devices. Let’s review them below.

Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are the little, replaceable batteries used in clocks, remotes, fire alarms, and other items requiring periodic replacement.

How are alkaline batteries made?

When creating an alkaline battery, a person combines manganese dioxide, an electrolyte, and graphite. Together, this creates a material that is then added to metal rings that go into the battery’s container. The rings act as a cathode.

Afterward, a paper strip is placed at the battery’s bottom. This is called the separator, and it is placed between the rings.

The metal rings and the separator are then flooded with an electrolyte, which they absorb.

Zinc, in a gel form, is then placed in the battery, forming the anode. A nail is then attached to a steel disc and inserted into the battery. The disc acts as the negative pole.

When a device is turned on, the zinc and the manganese dioxide react, forming an electrical current.

When the zinc runs out, the battery can no longer create a current, and we say the battery has died.

Reactions within alkaline batteries cannot be reversed, which is why these batteries need to be replaced instead of recharged.

Lithium Batteries

These are the batteries used in your phone, portable computer, or in an electric car.

In a lithium battery, lithium is always the anode, and the materials used in the cathode vary.

The reactions in a lithium battery are reversible. This is why you don’t have to replace your phone battery and can recharge it instead.

Creating Energy

We’ve answered the question “How are batteries made?” but have you considered energy alternatives?

Our articles have everything you need to meet your energy needs in a clean way! Read more articles about clean technology to learn about the technology of the future.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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