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Zinc vs Lithium Batteries Definition and Differences

Zinc vs Lithium Batteries Definition and Differences

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What is Zinc battery?

Zinc batteries, also known as Zinc-Carbon batteries, are dry cell batteries. They are batteries that deliver approximately 1.5 volts of direct current to the device they are operating. They have the ability to do so through the electrochemical reaction that happens between Zinc and Manganese dioxide inside of the battery. Zinc usually serves as the anode inside of a dry cell with a negative electrical polarity. The inner carbon rod inside of the battery acts as the cathode. Most of the dry cells on market use an aqueous paste made from ammonium chloride as the electrolyte. Heavy-duty dry cells use electrolyte made of Zinc chloride instead. 

Zinc batteries are portable, efficient and can be used in any orientation. That made devices like flashlights, clocks, and transistor radios available. The Zinc batteries are single-use primary battery cells.

Are lithium batteries better than zinc batteries?
 
The lithium-ion cells have an outer case that is made of metal. It is important to use metal in the li-ion cells as the battery is pressurized. The metal casing has what is called a vent hole. Which is basically a pressure-sensitive hole. In case the battery gets too hot that there is a risk of an explosion, this vent hole releases the extra pressure helping to rescue the situation. 
 
Inside the metal case, there are three thin sheet layers that are:
 
" A positive electrode.
 
" A negative electrode.
 
" A separator between the two of them.
 
These three thin sheets are submerged in an organic solvent, mostly made of ether. That solvent acts as the electrolyte for the battery.
 
Lithium-ion batteries are used for almost all electronic devices and electronic vehicles. Despite being more expensive than conventional alkaline batteries, Lithium-ion batteries have a much longer lifespan.
 
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries require routine maintenance and care when handling and use. Lithium-ion batteries have a typical lifespan of around two to three years. Alternatively, 300 to 500 charge cycles, so whichever reached first. One charge cycle is calculated as the period of use from fully charged to fully discharged and dully recharged once again. 
 
Lithium-ion batteries have a limited life span and eventually will lose their ability to hold a charge. Unfortunately, this aging process (loss of capacity) is irreversible. As Li-ion batteries age the length of time they power the product will decrease, until they cannot power the device anymore.
 
It is worth noting that you should only use specified adapters to charge your batteries. Using an undesignated charger will not only harm your battery but can be very dangerous as you risk the hazard of fire. 
 
Lithium-ion batteries have built a reputation for itself that no product can overcome, at least for the time being. Lithium-ion batteries have proven to be the best solution for a rechargeable source of energy. Not only that but nowadays energy can be stored from renewable resources (sun and wind) directly to lithium-ion batteries. 
 
Scientists believe that there is no need to find a replacement for lithium-ion batteries. Instead, all of the current research work is to upgrade those batteries. Since the first lithium battery that was designed in 1970 until this moment, all that was done in the field was upgrading and enhancing the same battery "Lithium-ion battery"
 
The current researches focus on removing the flammable liquid from inside the lithium-ion batteries. The liquid that can cause those batteries to catch fire. The call the new upgrade a Solid-state battery. 
 
It is also worth mentioning that the Lithium-ion batteries now are the most economical solution for portable energy sources. Their manufacturing prices have become very affordable, that they are the number one choice for every single mobile phone, laptop, and even electric cars manufacturers.
 
Another reason that makes the Lithium-ion batteries irreplaceable -at least for now- is their size. Storing Lithium-ion batteries in bulk is a simple task. They are compact, small, flexible and versatile. They can be stored easily and hassle-free. Not only that, but their shelf life is phenomenal. One battery can be stored for up to ten years. 
 
Researches now are also focusing on how to integrate Lithium-ion in all energy storage aspects. However, the problem they are facing is the discharge rate, which is relatively small. The challenge now is to produce a lithium-ion battery with a very slow discharging system that can last for more than one day. Moreover, researches are also concerned by the size of these batteries. They want to make a small battery with a large capacity. As mentioned before, electric cars' batteries before were around two tones, nowadays they are only 300 kg. If they could make it even less, it would be a huge step in the right direction.
 
In addition, integrating lithium-ion batteries in more applications will eventually save the planet. That is because -as previously mentioned- you now can store energy in the battery coming from renewable resources. Thus, reducing the need for fossil fuels. If we succeeded in reducing the need for fossil fuels even by 5% annually. Then in less than a century from now our planet would be saved from the harmful emissions that come from using fossil fuels.
 

What is the difference between zinc and lithium batteries?

The first and most apparent difference between the two types is that the Zinc batteries are non-rechargeable, while the Lithium-ion ones are rechargeable. 

The Capacity of the Zinc batteries is much less than that of the Lithium ion batteries, which makes the zinc batteries only suitable to power small appliances and devices. 

In terms of energy delivered, Lithium-ion batteries deliver much more energy than the zinc ones. As a matter of fact, energy delivered from Lithium-ion batteries is so great that energy delivered from a zinc battery seems insignificant.

Ecologically speaking, lithium-ion batteries are considered a more eco-friendly option than zinc batteries. That is why almost all appliances and devices now are headed towards the Lithium-ion batteries and abandoning the zinc counterparts.