Difference Between Zinc and Alkaline (With Table)

It has always been confusing to decide which battery you use for different appliances. If you often get confused between zinc batteries and alkaline batteries. Here is a short explanation for you. A zinc-carbon battery is a primary dry cell battery that provides electric current directly from the reaction of electrochemical between zinc and manganese dioxide. The alkaline ones have a larger density of energy and even longer shelf life.

When compared to the ratio of quality, the zinc batteries have the best price as they are made of simple yet very reliable and trusted technology. The alkaline batteries are made with the anti-leak ability so that it does not get harmed.

Zinc vs Alkaline

The difference between the zinc and alkaline batteries is the type and the material of electrolyte used in both of them. The electrolyte used in the zinc batteries is ammonium chloride, while the electrolyte used in the alkaline one is potassium hydroxide. Although these are just technical differences, both of the batteries have their own uses and benefits.

The zinc batteries are made of simple yet very advanced and reliable technology. Besides being of excellent quality, the price of zinc batteries is very low and affordable. In fact, for the low drain devices, these batteries are cost-effective as the energy usage of zinc per hour is quite low.

The alkaline ones have a larger density of energy and even longer shelf life. These batteries are developed with anti-leak protection so that the appliance does not get damaged easily. The cells of the alkaline have some extra formula that is used for the extra power and that too for a longer period in the high-drain devices.

Comparison Table Between Zinc and Alkaline

Parameters of ComparisonZincAlkaline
Acidic use The acidic electrolyte is used in zinc batteries.While in alkaline batteries, a basic electrolyte is used.
CapacityZinc batteries have a much lower capacity.Alkaline batteries have a higher capacity.
Use of canThe anode of the zinc battery is the can which is one of its crucial parts.Alkaline batteries use zinc powder and that too, which is within the can.
Shelf lifeThe shelf life of zinc batteries is lower.The shelf life of alkaline batteries is longer as compared to zinc batteries.
LeakagesZinc batteries are prone to some leakage.Alkaline batteries are developed with the anti-leak technology, so it does not leak at all.

What is Zinc?

A zinc-carbon battery is a primary dry cell battery that provides electric current directly from the reaction of electrochemical between zinc and manganese dioxide. The zinc batteries are made of simple yet very advanced and reliable technology. Besides being of excellent quality, the price of zinc batteries is very low and affordable. In fact, for the low drain devices, these batteries are cost-effective as the energy usage of zinc per hour is quite low.

The zinc batteries usually produce energy of about 1.5 volts. The interesting part about the zinc-carbon batteries is that they were the first dry batteries that were ever used for commercial use. As the battery can literally function in any portable device, it made flashlights and other such devices.

The zinc-carbon cells are the single-use in primary cells. The zinc-carbon dry cell comes in the container that is made of zinc can. When it comes to capacity and shelf life, the zinc batteries have a shorter life span for both of them. There are even chances of leakage in the zinc batteries as the technology used in its formation is very simple. 

What is Alkaline?

The alkaline ones have a larger density of energy and even longer shelf life. These batteries are developed with anti-leak protection so that the appliance does not get damaged easily. The cells of the alkaline have some extra formula that is used for the extra power and that too for a longer period in the high-drain devices.

Alkaline batteries are so reliable that about 80% of the batteries accounted in the whole united states is the alkaline battery. The production of alkaline batteries is over 10 billion units around the world.

As for the stats, in japan, the alkaline battery stands with about 46% of whole battery usage and sale, in Switzerland, it stands for about 68%, and in the united kingdom, it stands for about 60% while in the whole of Europe it has 40% of the consumption. The amount of toxicity present in alkaline batteries is very low if compared to other batteries.

Main Differences Between Zinc and Alkaline

  1. The main difference between zinc and alkaline batteries is the type and the material of electrolyte used in both of them.
  2. The acidic electrolyte is used in the zinc batteries, while in alkaline batteries, a basic electrolyte is used.
  3. Zinc batteries have a much lower capacity, But alkaline batteries have a higher capacity.
  4. The anode of the zinc battery is the can which is one of its crucial parts, while alkaline batteries use the zinc powder and that too, which is within the can.
  5. The shelf life of zinc batteries is lower, while the shelf life of alkaline batteries is longer as compared to zinc batteries.
  6. Zinc batteries are prone to some leakage, but alkaline batteries are developed with the anti-leak technology, so it does not leak at all.

Conclusion

It is now to be concluded that zinc and alkaline are two different types of batteries that have totally different uses and benefits. What makes the difference between both of them is the electrolyte used in the formation of those batteries. Mostly, all the zinc batteries use acidic electrolyte that is basically composed of ammonium chloride while there is potassium chloride in the alkaline ones.

When compared to the ratio of quality, the zinc batteries have the best price as they are made of simple yet very reliable and trusted technology. The alkaline batteries are made with the anti-leak ability so that it does not get harmed.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211285513000979
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0378775394021708

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