What's a battery? You can think of a battery as a small power plant that converts a chemical reaction into electrical energy. Dry cell batteries are used most often in household and high-tech devices. Various dry cell batteries can differ in several ways, but they all have the same basic components.
1. Container-a steel can housing the cell's ingredients to form the cathode collector, a part of the electrochemical reaction.
2. Negative Current Collector-a brass pin in the middle of the cell that conducts electricity to the outside circuit.
3. Electrodes-where the electrochemical reaction takes place.
4. Cathode is manganese dioxide mixture and carbon. Cathodes are the electrodes reduced by the electrochemical reaction.
5. Anode-powdered zinc metal. Anodes are the electrodes that are oxidized.
6. Electrolytes are a potassium hydroxide solution in water. Electrolytes are the medium for the movement of ions within the cell and actually carry the ionic current inside the battery.
7. Separator is a non-woven, fibrous fabric that separates the electrodes and holds the electrolyte between electrodes.
How is a battery built? It all starts with an empty steel can-the battery container. A cathode mix-finely ground powders of manganese dioxide and conductors carrying a naturally occurring positive chemical charge-is molded to the inside wall of the empty container. A separator paper is inserted to keep the cathode from touching the anode. The anode, which carries a negative chemical charge and potassium hydroxide electrolyte, is then pumped into each container. The collector, which acts as the negative (anode) current collector, is inserted into the battery, which is then capped and sealed.
So, how does it produce electricity? The chemical reaction starts when you insert a battery into a device and complete the circuit. A battery produces power through a chemical reaction. Most chemical reactions produce energy in the form of heat, but by confining chemicals inside the container and controlling the resulting reaction with a separator, batteries produce electrical energy.