General Information
Battery History
Battery Timeline
Battery Types
Selecting a Battery
Battery Life
Charging Batteries
Battery Chargers
Charging Q&A
Recycling Batteries
Testing Batteries
Specific Battery Issues
The Memory Effect
Cordless Phone Batteries
Glossary of Battery Terms
Technical Information
Battery Comparison Chart
Primary Batteries
Carbon Zinc
Zinc Chloride
Alkaline Batteries
Standard Alkalines
Premium Alkalines
Lithium Manganese
Zinc Air
Silver Oxide
Mercuric Oxide
Secondary Batteries
Nickel Cadmium
Nickel Metal-Hydride
Lithium Ion
Lithium Ion Polymer
Lead Acid

 Carbon Zinc Batteries

Typical Carbon Zinc Battery (click for full cutaway view)Carbon Zinc batteries work best with low or moderate power requirements. With every use the voltage drops until it is time to throw it away. The Carbon Zinc is limited for use in some of the newer portable electronic products with their higher drain requirements, but is still good for flashlights and intermittent use.

General purpose batteries like Carbon Zinc don't withstand heat and cold very well. And long storage periods when temperatures soar above 100║ F, such as in our cars during the summer, cause deterioration. The heat drives out the moisture from the chemical mix in the cell. It's not a good performer at low temperatures either. At 0║ F or below, the cell's chemical activity is so decreased that there is little service life.

The cutaway at left shows the typical construction of a Carbon Zinc battery; click on the image to see a larger view with additional information.

When the Enercell Battery Guidebook was produced, carbon zinc batteries had three big advantages: low cost, a wide number of sizes, and they are readily available. Advances in technology and manufacturing techniques have eliminated these advantages by lowering the costs of producing alkalines in a wide range of readily available sizes. Alkaline batteries have almost entirely replaced carbon zinc and zinc chloride in RadioShack's product line.

Cadmium Zinc Battery Characteristics

Chemical Reaction 2MnO2 + 2NH4Cl + Zn --> ZnCL2.2NH3 + H2O + MN2O3
Operating Temperature 20║ F to 130║ F (-6║ C to 54.4║ C). Low temperature drastically reduces service capacity.
Recommended for Toys, radios, flashlights, amplifiers, and lighting.
Initial Voltage Varies
Capacity Lowest capacity of the primary battery types. These batteries do not have a standard capacity rating; see the Capacity heading for a full explanation.
Discharge Rate Sloping.
Internal Resistance Very low; it increases with usage, storage or at low temperature.
Impedance Low.
Storage Life Up to 18 months
Storage Temperature -40║ F to 120║ F (-40║ C to 48.9║ C)
Disposal Not recyclable; check with your local authority (city/county/parish) for proper disposal.

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