There are several types of dry cells which are quite different from the normal wet cell batteries. They are different in terms of their chemicals that are non-liquid. It is the reason why so many people prefer the dry cell batteries over their wet cell counterparts. They can be handled easily as there won’t be any risk of spillage as a result of inverting, rotating or their use in a moving or rapidly shaking device. Another differentiating characteristic of the dry cell battery is the fact that majority of them cannot be recharged like the wet cell batteries. Below are the most common types of dry cells:
Acidic Dry Cells
The acidic dry cells are made of cylindrical zinc containers that work as the anode or negative poles. They are filled with manganese dioxide or ammonium chloride paste which forms the electrolyte, and contains a carbon known as the cathode. These types of dry cells are referred to as acidic because the manganese dioxide and ammonium chloride pastes are acidic in nature. The acidic dry cell can produce an approximate voltage of 1.5 V, but one of its shortfalls is the fast corrosion of the anode during an acidic condition. This makes them very potent but without a long life.
Alkaline Dry Cells
These types of dry cells are similar in design and effectiveness to the acidic dray cells but are different in terms of composition. Their electrolytes use alkaline unlike other types of dry cells. Also, they don’t use potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, but ammonium chloride, which makes their corrosion much slower under alkaline conditions resulting to a longer lifespan for the battery.
Like the alkaline dry cells, the silver dry cell has an alkaline feature in its electrolyte, but is different as the cathode makes use of inert silver rather than a carbon cathode. This leads to a high energy ratio and longer lifespan, though it’s much more expensive than other dry cells due to its silver coating features. This is the reason why these types of dry cells are usually small (to reduce the amount of silver) or made bigger to accommodate its use in heavy equipments such as in torpedoes or submarines.
The mercury cells are very popular in their use in calculators or button type watches. They are made up of standard zinc anodes and mercury oxide cathodes with alkaline/basic electrolyte. Because of the attachment placed on the environmental impact of the disposal of mercury, these types of dry cells are becoming less popular than other types of dry cells, and some countries have even prohibited its use for any purpose.
Cadmium/ Nickel Battery
These types of dry cells are rechargeable and contain nickel oxide cathodes and cadmium metal anodes in alkaline electrolyte. The cadmium/nickel battery has lesser internal resistance compared to other types of battery cells and has the ability of supplying high concentrated currents. This makes them perfect for use on electric vehicles, camera flashes, and remote controlled toys.