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16 Different Types of Battery Technology

DIfferent types and colors of batteries stacked.

Batteries come in many shapes and sizes, but there are only a few main types of technology.

Chemistry

The most important thing to know about battery technology is that it’s chemistry-based. This means that the materials used to make the battery determine how much power it will hold, how quickly it can charge, and how long it will last.

Rechargeable batteries have different chemistries depending on what they’re designed for. For example, lithium-ion batteries are popular for portable electronics like laptops because they have a high energy density (the amount of energy stored for a given weight), which means you can get more juice out of them.

Alkaline batteries are less expensive than lithium-ion but don’t last as long. Nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries were popular in the 1970s but have since been replaced by nickel metal hydride (NiMH).

Lithium polymer batteries are another type of rechargeable battery that’s used in smartphones and other mobile devices.

Related: 6 Different Types of Wireless Technology

1. Alkaline battery

Yellow and black double A alkaline battery.

Alkaline batteries are the most common type of battery used by consumers. They come in a variety of sizes and types, but are all made from similar materials.

Alkaline batteries contain an alkali metal oxide, such as lithium or manganese dioxide. The electrolyte is usually potassium hydroxide, though there are some variations that use sodium hydroxide instead.

The electrodes are usually made from zinc, but can be made from silver oxide or lithium carbonate instead.

The two most common types of alkaline batteries are zinc-carbon and alkaline manganese dioxide (AM). Zinc-carbon batteries were invented in 1899 by Waldemar Jungner, a Swedish engineer who was looking for a better battery than the lead-acid batteries that were commonly used at the time.

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Zinc-carbon batteries have a lower energy density than most other types of alkaline battery, but they’re still widely available today due primarily to their low cost.

Alkaline manganese dioxide (AM) batteries were first developed in 1935 by scientists at Energizer’s corporate predecessor, Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), who used manganese dioxide as an electrolyte instead of potassium hydroxide because it wouldn’t react with water. 

2. Aluminum air battery

Silver gray aluminum air battery attached in a yellow wall.

Aluminium–air batteries are a type of metal-air battery that is made from aluminum and oxygen. They are rechargeable and can be used to power electrical devices such as radios, digital cameras, and laptops. Aluminium–air batteries have the potential to be more efficient than lithium-ion batteries, but they also have some limitations.

Aluminum is an abundant metal that is easy to produce in large quantities at a low cost. It has been used as a material for batteries since the early 1960s. The first aluminum–air battery was developed by Japanese researchers in 1968.

The battery consisted of a negatively charged electrode made from aluminum oxide powder mixed with water and a positively charged electrode made from aluminum foil dipped in salt solution (electrolyte).

The positive electrode was exposed to air while the negative electrode was exposed to water; when these two solutions were connected together, electricity was produced by the chemical reaction between them.

The problem with this early design was that it required too much energy from the user’s breath to produce enough electricity for powering small devices such as wristwatches. In addition, it only worked well on humid days when there was plenty of moisture in the air around us, so that both sides of the battery could be exposed simultaneously.

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3. Atomic battery

Yellow and black aomic battery in a white background.

Atomic batteries are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that have a much longer lifespan than traditional alkaline, lithium-ion, or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Atomic batteries are designed to last for over 10 years, which is double the lifespan of a typical alkaline battery.

Atomic batteries are ideal for use in devices that use up battery power quickly, such as flashlights, smoke detectors and remote controls.

Atomic batteries utilize state of the art technology to provide superior performance and reliability over other types of batteries. They have a high energy density and low self-discharge rate that enables them to run longer than other types of batteries.

They also have no memory effect, so you can recharge them at any point during their life cycle without damaging them.

Atomic batteries feature an internal PCB (printed circuit board) with integrated microchips that allow them to communicate with each other and control how they charge and discharge electricity based on how much electricity they need at any given time.

This allows you to recharge your atomic battery multiple times before it needs replacing while still maintaining its charge each time you recharge it.

4. Earth battery

Earth battery stuck in a healthy soil with a technology.

Earth batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that uses the natural energy in the ground or other sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, to power electrical devices. The earth battery is also called a ground source heat pump.

The earth battery is a type of device that uses the thermal energy contained within the ground to generate electricity. A large amount of heat can be extracted from the ground at relatively low temperatures, using one or more loops of piping buried underground.

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This heat can then be used to boil water into steam and drive turbines to generate electricity. Because this method does not require any fuel, it is considered carbon-neutral by some people.

The earth battery was invented by Michael Laughton in 2003 and patented in 2005 (U.S Patent Application 2004/0165707).

The design was inspired by an earlier invention called a “heat pipe” which uses vapor pressure differences between two chambers separated by an insulating material (usually an inert gas) to transfer heat from one chamber to another without any moving parts or fluids.

5. Frog battery

Zoom in photo of a frog battery suitable for bicycle and motor.

Frog batteries are high-performance lithium-ion batteries that deliver high-quality power, reliability and safety.

Frog batteries are designed for use in high-end electric vehicles and mobility applications. Frog batteries combine lightweight cell chemistry with state-of-the-art battery management systems (BMS) to ensure optimal performance and safety.

The result is a long life battery that is easy to use and maintain, with no memory effect or capacity fades over time.

Frog Battery has developed an innovative concept for lithium ion battery management systems (BMS).

The BMS system monitors the state of charge (SOC), current and voltage of each battery cell independently, which reduces the risk of overcharging or undercharging individual cells by monitoring their status through dedicated communication channels between cells and balancing groups.

The BMS system also provides protection against short circuits, overcurrents, overvoltages/undervoltages and overdischarge/underdischarge conditions, which provide reliable protection against internal faults within the battery itself.

6. Lithium battery

Stacked yellow and black lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium batteries are the most common type of rechargeable battery in use today. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries power everything from cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles and spacecraft.

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The basic structure of all lithium battery types is the same: a cathode, an anode, and a separator between them. The cathode is made from a compound containing lithium ions; when these ions move toward the anode during discharge, they create current flow through an external circuit.

The anode consists of carbon or graphite, which attracts electrons in the opposite direction during discharge. Separator layers keep the two electrodes apart so they don’t touch each other and short out the circuit.

Lithium batteries have several advantages over other rechargeable batteries: They have higher energy density than other types of rechargeables (meaning they can hold more charge in a given volume), they’re lighter and more compact than similar lead-acid or nickel-cadmium cells, and they don’t degrade as much over time as older technologies do (which is why you can still get 500 charges out of your old NiCd AA battery).

Related: Do Wireless Chargers Contain Lithium? What Else?

7. Magnesium battery

Standing baby blue rechargeble magnesium batteries.

Magnesium batteries are currently in development as a potential alternative to lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have the potential to be cheaper, lighter, longer-lasting and faster-charging than lithium-ion batteries.

Magnesium is an abundant element on Earth and is a very reactive metal. It can be used in batteries as anode material, replacing lithium ions which are commonly used in today’s batteries.

Magnesium has many advantages over lithium, including higher energy density per weight and volume, greater mechanical strength, better thermal stability and lower cost. Magnesium also has lower toxicity than lithium and does not require water solutions like lithium does.

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The main challenge for developing magnesium-based batteries is that magnesium reacts with air very quickly at room temperature or above, making it difficult to store energy safely in this way. To combat this problem, scientists have created non-aqueous solid electrolytes that do not react with air or water at all temperatures up to 400°C (752°F).

These solid electrolytes allow magnesium ions to move through them while blocking the passage of electrons so they do not short circuit the battery when it is charging or discharging electricity through it with an external load connected between its terminals (cathode and anode).

8. Mercury battery

MErcury batteries inside a big can with dark blue background.

Mercury batteries are a type of primary battery, or non-rechargeable battery. They have been used in the past, but they are now almost entirely replaced by other types of batteries, such as alkaline and lithium primary batteries.

Mercury batteries are made from a mix of mercury salts and zinc. They were once used as a source of electricity for clocks, and can still be found in some electronic devices today.

Mercury batteries were invented by Georges Leclanché in 1866, although he did not patent his invention until 1874. These early batteries consisted of two electrodes separated by a porous material soaked with an electrolyte containing potassium hydroxide (KOH), which was liquid at room temperature.

The positive electrode was made from mercuric oxide (HgO) mixed with manganese dioxide (MnO2) and manganese sulfate (MnSO4). This mixture was then coated with graphite to make it conductive while also preventing corrosion inside the battery cell.

An iron wire served as the negative electrode and provided enough resistance to prevent overcharging while still allowing some current to flow through the battery when connected to an external circuit.

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9. Molten salt battery

Molten salt battery for grid level power storage in a black background.

Molten salt batteries are a type of molten salt reactor, which is a type of nuclear energy technology. Molten salt reactors use fluoride or chloride salts as coolants and their fuels can be either solid or liquid.

Molten salt reactors were first developed in the 1950s by the United States Department of Energy through experiments on nuclear fuel systems that used liquid rather than solid fuel elements. The primary advantage of these reactors is that they can be cooled with ordinary water, which makes them more flexible when it comes to siting and operation.

In addition to greater safety and flexibility, molten salt reactors have been suggested as being much more efficient than traditional water-cooled reactors. Other advantages include: high thermal efficiency; superior safety characteristics; no high pressure containment required; inherent passive safety features; and very low waste production.

10. Nickel oxyhydroxide battery

Duracel brand battery a nickel oxyhydroxide battery type of battery.

 A nickel oxyhydroxide battery is a type of rechargeable alkaline battery. These batteries are commonly used in calculators, clocks, remote controls and other small devices. They are also known as NiO batteries or NiOOH batteries, but the most common name is nickel oxyhydroxide.

The major advantage of these batteries is their high capacity-to-weight ratio coupled with their ability to withstand very high rates of discharge without damage and their low self-discharge rate. Despite these advantages, they have been largely replaced by lithium ion batteries because they are expensive to manufacture and difficult to dispose of safely.

The typical NiO battery consists of a cathode made from nickel hydroxide and an anode made from nickel oxide hydroxide (NiOOH). The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide (KOH) mixed with water. The result is a sealed cell that can be recharged hundreds of times before it fails due to repeated charging cycles.

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11. Organic radical battery

Ultra thin organic radical battery.

Researchers have developed a new type of battery that uses organic radicals as its electrolytes. The battery is non-flammable and rechargeable, with a high energy density and a long lifetime.

Organic radical batteries have been attracting attention as next-generation energy storage systems due to their high safety, low cost, and environmentally friendly properties.

However, an organic radical battery has not yet been commercialized because the discharge/charge cycle performance has not been satisfactory.

In this study, researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology developed a novel organic radical battery using a non-conductive polymer as an electrolyte instead of liquid electrolytes used in conventional batteries. They also developed an electrolyte additive to improve the stability of the electrolyte against heat and light.

12. Paper battery

Bended thin paper battery isolated in a white background.

A paper battery is a simple device that can be made at home. It is an easy to make, inexpensive and eco-friendly way to power some of your DIY electronics projects.

Using paper as a battery has been around for some time now. The idea behind this is, that if you tear up some paper and place it in water it will start to generate voltage and current.

This happens because the cellulose fibers inside the paper get oxidized when they come into contact with the water, thus creating an electrolysis reaction.

You can use this reaction to power your DIY electronics projects like LED lights or even a motor!

How does it work?

The paper battery works by using two different types of paper; one type contains cellulose and the other contains metal particles (such as copper). These two types of paper are sandwiched together with a conductive paste in between them (see picture below).

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When you add water on top of the sandwich, it starts generating electricity from the oxidation process that occurs within the cellulose fibers – this process is called electrolysis.

13. Silver-oxide battery

Micro silver-oxide battery isolated in a white background.

Silver-oxide batteries are a type of silver-zinc battery. They were introduced in the early 1970s, but only became popular in the 1980s. They are now used in many applications where high energy density and long life are required.

Silver-oxide batteries are made from a paste of silver oxide and other ingredients, which is then rolled into thin sheets and wound into a spiral.

The resulting positive electrode is very flexible and resilient, allowing it to conform to most surfaces and also making it resistant to vibration damage. The negative electrode is usually made from lead peroxide, although other materials such as nickel oxyhydroxide can be used instead.

The electrolyte used in silver-oxide batteries is potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution or potassium thiocyanate (KSCN). These electrolytes are not flammable or corrosive, making silver-oxide batteries safer than many other types of rechargeable battery.

14. Solid-state battery

Packed solid state battery used for vehicles.

Solid-state batteries are the next generation of energy storage devices.

They are based on solid electrolytes, which replace the liquid electrolyte with a solid one.

Solid-state batteries have several advantages over conventional lithium ion batteries:

Higher energy density – Theoretically, solid-state batteries can store up to 10 times more energy than their liquid counterparts.

This is due to the fact that solid electrolytes can be made from highly conductive materials like lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LiPON). These materials also have higher electrochemical stability and thermal conductivity than other materials used for battery electrolytes.

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Lower cost – Solid-state batteries require less expensive manufacturing processes compared to liquid electrolyte lithium ion batteries, which increases their commercial viability.

15. Sugar battery

A man hand with a slot inserted a sugar battery.

 Sugar batteries are a type of battery that can be made from sugar and water.

A sugar battery can be made with just two ingredients: sugar and water. It is one of the simplest types of battery to make, and is often used in science experiments for children. This type of battery is also known as an alkaline fuel cell, or SFC (sugar fuel cell).

Sugar batteries are made by mixing one part table sugar with two parts water. The mixture is stirred until it reaches a creamy consistency, then poured into a container that has been coated with paraffin wax on both sides. The paraffin prevents the mixture from sticking to the container and keeps it from drying out over time.

The molecules in the mixture begin to react when they come into contact with each other, creating an electrical charge that can then be harnessed by electrodes placed in close proximity to each other.

These electrodes are usually made out of graphite or copper foil strips that have been wrapped around nails or pencils, which serve as connections between the electrodes and the lead wire.

16. Water-activated battery

Blue water-activated battery Aquacell brand.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois has developed a water-activated battery that could replace lithium-ion batteries in everything from smartwatches to electric cars.

The researchers say their design is safer and cheaper than existing battery technology. It’s also more environmentally friendly.

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“This battery can be recharged by pouring in liquid and is safe enough to be used by children,” said lead researcher William King in a statement. “The device is also robust, withstanding hundreds of cycles without losing significant capacity.”

The new battery uses an electrolyte made from water and potassium hydroxide, which slowly releases hydrogen gas as it degrades over time. This process helps recharge the battery and keep it in good shape for long periods of time, according to the researchers.

The researchers say their technology could be especially useful for electric cars because it doesn’t require high temperatures or pressures like other electrochemical energy storage systems do.

Those systems include lithium-ion batteries, which are often used in electric cars today but require sophisticated cooling systems to prevent fires when they overheat during charging or discharging cycles.

Longer cycle life – Solid-state batteries can be cycled many times without losing their ability to store energy like liquid electrolyte lithium ion cells do when they get old or damaged.