Zinc-Carbon Battery

Zinc-Carbon Battery

 A graphic representing the construction of a zinc-carbon cell. A cut-away cross-section illustrates and labels the main components of a zinc-carbon cell.

A zinc–carbon battery is a dry cell battery that delivers a potential of 1.5 volts. Although carbon is an important element of the battery's construction, it takes no part in the electrochemical reaction. The cell could more properly be called a "zinc–manganese" cell. The zinc can is the anode and the source of high potential electrons and hence it is the negative pole. The manganese dioxide and carbon black paste is the cathode and the inert carbon rod is a non-corrodible conductor that makes the positive pole. General purpose batteries may use ammonium chloride and/or zinc chloride as the electrolyte.

Zinc–carbon batteries were the first commercial dry batteries, developed from the technology of the wet Leclanché cell , and made flashlights and other portable devices possible, because the battery can function in any orientation. They are still useful in low drain or intermittent use devices such as remote controls, flashlights, clocks or transistor radios. Zinc–carbon dry cells are single-use primary cells, since they are not intended to be recharged.

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