What metals are used in batteries?

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Batteries are classified in to two forms :

1)      Primary batteries : These types of batteries produces current instantly when assembled to do so with most often use is in day to day portable devices. Some of the most common types of primary batteries with metals used in them include -:

a)       Zinc-Carbon : As the name suggest, in a Zinc-Carbon cell, the metals that are used include Zinc and Carbon, with zinc forming the container of the cell and carbon (usually graphite powder) forming the cathode part.

b)      Zinc-Chloride : It is an improvement over Zinc-Carbon cell. The battery makes use of ZnCl2 paste and also known as the heavy-duty cells.

c)       Alkaline : These batteries depend upon zinc and manganese dioxide for their power. The battery is best suited for CD players, pagers, lights and toys.

d)      Nickel oxhydroxide : Nickel and graphite are the chief metals used in the construction of Nickel oxhydroxide battery.

e)       Lithium : The battery make use of lithium as anode and manganese dioxide for cathode. Other types include -: Li–CuO, LiFeS2, LiMnO2, Li–(CF)n andLi–CrO2.

f)        Mercury oxide : Mercury and zinc are the metals used in the construction of a Mercury battery also known as the mercuric oxide battery. The practical application is in the shape of button for watches, calculators and hearing aid.

g)       Zinc–air : With Zinc and oxygen making Zinc-air batteries, these are the original fuel cells available to the world.

h)      Silver-oxide : Also known as the Silver-Zinc batteries utilize silver oxide as cathode and zinc as anode.


2)      Secondary batteries : Also known as the rechargeable batteries need them to be charged before use. These types of batteries are usually assembled with active materials in the discharged state. Some of the most common types of secondary batteries with metals used in them include :

a)       NiCd : As the name says, the battery has two metals nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd). The battey is not that expensive and has moderate energy density.

b)      Lead–acid : This battery makes use of lead and sulfuric acid and is one of the oldest battery type with common application in car engines.

c)       NiMH : The metal under use is just Nickel, with hydrogen acting as anode. It is also known by the name nickel–hydrogen battery.

d)      NiZn : Nickel and zinc are the two metals used in the construction of nickel–zinc battery with practical application in electric bikes, garden tools, etc.

e)       AgZn : Extremely expensive battery make use of silver metal as their main component. The variant available is the Silver-Zinc battery utilizing zinc to cut cost and to withstand large loads.

f)        Lithium ion : Also known as Li-Ion batteries utilize graphite and lithium to create an electrical charge. It’s a kind of very expensive battery with very high energy density.


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