Who Invented the Alkaline Battery?

An alkaline battery is a kind of a rechargeable battery or disposable battery that is dependent on the reaction between the compound manganese oxide and the element zinc. Many consumers prefer to use alkaline batteries over zinc-carbon batteries because alkaline batteries have longer shelf life as well as higher energy density. One of the most important materials used in the development of the batteries is the alkaline electrolyte of potassium hydroxide. Before we proceed with the characteristics of the battery, let us look at its history, including the person behind the invention of the alkaline battery.

Historical Background

Who invented the alkaline battery? The first alkaline battery was invented by one of the scientists of Energizer, Lewis Frederick Urry, in 1959. The prototype battery developed by Urry was displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of History. In order to prove the durability of the battery, Urry installed the alkaline battery in a toy car and a zinc-carbon battery in another toy car. He raced the cars around a room. As expected, the toy car with the zinc-carbon battery was the first to stop. With the desire of the company to limit the use of mercury in batteries, it introduced the AAAA alkaline battery in 1989.

Additional Information and Other Important Details

An alkaline battery has a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts. To attain multiple voltages, it is important to make a series of alkaline batteries. When the battery was discharged, the zero-load voltage may vary from 1.5 volts to 1.65 volts. The voltage depends on the level of zinc oxide and manganese oxide in the electrolyte.

Almost all alkaline batteries can be recharged. However, to do this successfully, there are some pointers to know. The first thing one should know before recharging the battery is the voltage. After knowing the voltage, it is important to identify the current in the battery. Aside from the information, it is necessary to know the specifications needed for recharging the battery.

Before recharging the battery, it is important to check if it was designed to be recharged. Do not try to charge batteries that are not designed to be recharged because these can result to aqueous potassium hydroxide leakage as well as rupture. In addition, it is important to wear safety goggles before recharging an alkaline battery because rupture can cause severe eye injuries. Above all, always remember to dispose ruptured batteries properly, because these contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment.

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