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How Do Batteries Work?

Chemistry | 12-14 yrs | Animation, Video

You use them to power a number of appliances at home. You also find them in many of your remote controlled gadgets. Watch this video to learn about that battery that powers your remote controlled car, the TV remote or even your PSP. See what goes into its making and how everything comes together to give you that power.

Can you imagine a world where all electrical appliances have to be plugged in?

Flashlights, cell phones and toys would be tethered to electrical outlets, making them clumsy and inconvenient.

Batteries provide portable, convenient sources of energy for powering devices without wires or cables.

So how do batteries work?

A dry cell is a common type of battery used today. It basically converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy.

In most basic terms, a battery cell is made up of three components:
– An anode (negative charge)
– A cathode (positive charge)
– and the electrolyte

In the dry cell, Zinc is the anode (-), the graphite core is the cathode (+) and Ammonium Chloride paste acts as an electrode.

Due to a chemical reaction within the battery the anode builds up an excess of electrons. This causes an electrical difference between the anode and the cathode. The electrons want to rearrange themselves and displace the extra electrons in the cathode. However, the electrolyte ensures the electrons cannot travel directly to the cathode.

When the circuit is closed (with the help of a “conductive path” between the anode and cathode), the electrons are able to travel to the cathode. This, in turn provides power to any appliance placed along the way.

This is how batteries work.

Over time this electro-chemical process alters the chemical makeup in the anode and cathode and eventually they stop providing electrons.

And this is how a battery “dies.”

Batteries provide us with a mobile source of power, that makes modern conveniences possible.

Head on to Chemistry for Kids for more such interesting chemistry videos and interactive articles.

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Comments52 reactions

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  2. I am a junior in high school and this just taught me more in two minutes than my chemistry teacher did in 24 weeks!!!

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