What Does Battery Mean-Definition,Components And Materials

Sep 17, 2020   Pageview:132


Generally, batteries are known as a collection of one or more cells attached, so that the flow of current can be made possible through them.

Technically, anything that provides a temporary and portable energy source is known as a battery—a battery function by creating a potential difference between its two ends. One has the maximum electrical energy, which is the anode, and the other end has zero potential difference that is the cathode. Electrical energy flows from the higher potential difference area to the lower potential difference area. When connected with an electrical device, a battery makes the electrons flow through that device, giving it power and back to the battery, thus completing the cycle. This phenomenon is called continuous direction.

Components of a battery

A battery consists of three main components.




Anode Terminal

The anode is the negative terminal of the battery. Another popular name for the anode is the Reducing electrode. What the anode does is it releases electrons from its terminal, which then flows through the external circuit towards the cathode. The anode terminal oxidizes the electrochemical reaction when it releases an electron.

Cathode Terminal

The cathode is the positive terminal of the battery. The cathode terminal is also called the oxidizing electrode. The cathode acquires electrons that are flowing through the external circuit. When the cathode gains an electron, reduction takes place in the electrochemical reaction.


The electrolyte is the third and probably the most essential part of a battery. The electrolyte is the primary medium that provides a medium to transport the ions within the battery. Without an electrolyte, the anode and the cathode terminal would not be able to connect. Thus the reaction would not take place at all. The electrolyte are mostly considered to be liquids such as water with some added salts that carry the ions. It may be noted that the small conventional batteries such as AAA contain a solid electrolyte.

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The function of the components inside a battery

The battery works due to the chemical present in between the terminals known as the electrolyte. The electrolyte creates a chemical reaction in collaboration with the anode and cathode within the battery. As s result, there is a surplus amount of electrons deposited at the anode. Surplus deposit of electron on the anode creates a potential difference. To neutralize the charge inside a battery, the anode needs to release the surplus amount of electrons, which cannot be done in the electrolyte. The only way to do it is through a conducting wire that is connected to the cathode.

Over time, the chemical reaction taking place inside a battery becomes weak and ultimately stops. As a result, there are no surplus electrons on the anode, the potential difference becomes zero, and the battery does not conduct electrons anymore. This is the stage when we say that the battery is dead.

Rechargeable batteries are the same as regular batteries, with one slight difference. In a traditional battery, the above-explained chemical reaction is irreversible. The chemical reaction happens in only one direction. In contrast, if an external source is provided in a rechargeable battery, the chemical reaction can be reversed, resulting in the reverse electron flow. When the external power is removed, the battery is once again able to conduct electricity independently.

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Materials used in the making of batteries

Making batteries is not as easy as it seems. The elements used in making a typical battery are quite diverse and harvested from the earth’s crust. Batteries use several different elements for constructing various parts of it. Following are some of the main materials used in the making of batteries


Aluminum is the third most abundant material that is found on the earth’s crust. Aluminum has great importance when making batteries, especially in Lithium-Ion batteries. Lithium-Ion is one of the most used battery types. Aluminum is used in the making of the cathode in Lithium-Ion batteries


Antimony is a brittle element that was discovered somewhere around 3000 BC. Antimony has great importance when it comes to the manufacturing of lead-acid batteries. Antimony is used to reinforce the lead plates that are used in the lead-acid batteries.


Discovered in Germany, Cadmium is a byproduct that is obtained as a result of the production of zinc. Cadmium’s primary purpose was to make anode for the nickel-cadmium batteries; however, they are banned for commercial use due to their hazardous substances.


Chloride is a negatively charged ion. Chloride is mostly present in the electrolytes of batteries. Chloride has characteristics that make it a good conductor.


Iron is one of the most abundant elements found on the earth’s crust. Iron found in the pure state is relatively soft and can be hardened by adding carbon. In the world of batteries, iron is used to make lithium iron phosphate batteries.


Lead is one of the most poisonous and the most toxic elements found on the earth’s surface. Its primary usage is in the production of lead-acid batteries.


Manganese is among the more critical elements used for the production of batteries. Manganese is used as a cathode in the Lithium-Ion, Alkaline, and Zinc-Carbon batteries.


Nickel is a lustrous white metal. Nickel is widely used in the manufacturing of cathodes for commercially used batteries.


Silver is among the softer metals. Silver also occurs naturally. However, most of the silver is obtained as a byproduct of the refining of gold, lead, and zinc. Silver is used in the production of silver-zinc batteries.


In terms of the abundance of elements in the earth’s crust, sodium stands at number 6. Sodium is largely used in making lithium-sulfur and sodium-sulfur batteries.


The chemical properties of zinc are similar to magnesium. Zinc is used on a large scale in the production of batteries due to its electrochemical properties.

Several other elements are used in the making of batteries, in one way or the other. These materials include

  • Vanadium

  • Titanate

  • Tin

  • Tantalum


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