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What are the disadvantages of silver-zinc batteries?

APR 03, 2024   Pageview:61

Whenever we come up with a new battery technology, we achieve several new advantages and the same is the case with silver-zinc batteries. However, no battery technology can be perfect and that's the reason why every battery technology has certain disadvantages.

For example, lithium batteries are dangerous under extreme conditions and acid batteries are not great in terms of portability and energy density. Similarly, silver-zinc batteries have some downsides to them that we will discuss in this article.

Relatively High Cost

The first disadvantage of silver-zinc batteries is their high cost. Like all other industries, the battery industry also faces a lot of competition, and it is essential to keep the prices low. Otherwise, the price for the end user will keep on increasing. Silver-zinc batteries are not great in this regard since they come at higher price points as compared to other batteries.

The Raw Materials and Manufacturing Costs are Higher

These batteries are not very common and that could be one of the reasons why there has not been a lot of improvement in the backend-processing of the manufacturing of these batteries.

The raw material lines for other battery types are very well optimized but the silver-zinc battery manufacturing procedure requires more optimization. This lack of optimization is the reason behind such a high price point.

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Consumers can Find Cheaper and Better Alternatives to Silver-zinc Batteries With Ease

As mentioned earlier, silver-zinc batteries are not the cheapest available out there. So, whenever a consumer goes to purchase a new battery, he compares the price of two different options and goes with the one that seems like better value for money. Although silver-zinc batteries do come with cost benefits over the longer run, most consumers don’t know or ignore this fact and go for the cheaper alternatives.

Comparison With Other General Battery Options Available

Being a newer battery technology, these batteries are not abundantly available in the market. That is one reason why the cost is higher. Secondly, when compared with other battery technologies that are used for the same requirements, silver-zinc batteries are usually 2 times more expensive or more expensive.

However, this factor varies according to your location and the market dynamics.

Batteries are Difficult to Recycle After Use

A major disadvantage of silver-zinc batteries is them being difficult to recycle after usage. It is not that the recycling process itself is the hardest part, but there are other processes involved which make it a difficult and inefficient option. However, with further development in silver-zinc battery technology, we may expect significant changes in this regard.

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Certain Applications Make it Difficult to Recycle Batteries

Currently, silver-zinc batteries are not utilized like other battery types. Whether you consider the non-rechargeable or rechargeable silver-zinc batteries, they are usually used in unique applications. Some of their applications include:

Medical devices and gadgets

Military equipment

Space technology

Marine exploration electronics

The reason why these batteries are difficult to recycle is because getting them back to the recycling facility is not the easiest.

Recycling These Batteries is not the Cheapest

Let's say that we solve the first problem of getting these batteries back with their application. It means that we are taking batteries back from space, military bases, depths of the ocean, and out of the human body where devices are implanted.

The next step will be recycling and that's not cheap. It is because the process of bringing them back and then other logistics add up to the cost which makes recycling an inefficient process.

What can be expected in the future?

With further developments in the recycling phase of these batteries, we can expect them to be easily recycled. It will include optimizing the logistics for the battery recycling process.

Moreover, an increase in the recycling plants will be a huge improvement for this battery technology. However, that may only be possible if silver-zinc batteries find a huge user base from different applications.

Under Certain Conditions, a Passivation Reaction may Occur

Although silver-zinc batteries are known to be durable and stable, there are certain conditions where they may fail like other batteries. The event of failure and its impact is different for every battery technology and silver-zinc batteries are not different. Here is all you need to know about the passivation reaction that can happen with these batteries.

What is the passivation reaction in silver-zinc batteries?

Passivation reaction is a unique type of reaction where metals and their alloys can lose their chemical reactivity. This reaction happens under certain environmental conditions only. Since the battery working is based on an electrochemical reaction inside it, if a passivation reaction takes place, it means that the electrochemical reaction may not take place at all or with the same efficiency.

How this Reaction can Impact Battery Performance

The simplest explanation is that the efficiency of that electrochemical reaction will drop. However, if we dig deeper into the technicalities, we will find out the following things happening with the battery:

The passivation layer will decrease the charging efficiency

The voltage of the battery will read lower than it should normally

Silver-zinc batteries will face a huge drop in their energy density

All these issues will happen because the electrochemical reaction is not taking place.

How this reaction can impact battery life.

Batteries are known to lose their life and performance when they are not kept in optimal usage conditions. The passivation reaction is one of those conditions where a battery stops performing optimally.

Even if you charge it, it will not have any internal electrochemical reaction. So, the life of a silver-zinc battery that has this reaction will significantly drop ultimately leading to the battery becoming useless.

Final Words

Silver-zinc battery technology is one of the most advanced and the most advantageous battery technologies invented so far. While it comes with some amazing benefits, some disadvantages come along with these batteries. These disadvantages become the reason why these batteries are not perfectly applicable to every application.

However, research work is still going on in this battery technology. So, we may expect certain improvements and who knows if one day we overcome all these downsides and make silver-zinc batteries the most successful battery innovation to date.

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