Dry Cell

Dry cells are widely used in toys, flashlights, portable radios, cameras, hearing aids, and other devices in common use. A battery consists of an outer case made of zinc (the negative electrode), a carbon rod in the center of the cell (the positive electrode), and the space between them is filled with an electrolyte paste.

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Detailed Description for Dry Cell


     A Dry cell is a type of chemical cell, commonly used today, in the form of batteries, for many electrical appliances. It was developed in 1886 by the German scientist Karl Gassner.




A dry cell uses a paste electrolyte, with only enough moisture to allow current to flow. Unlike a wet cell, a dry cell can operate in any orientation without spilling, as it contains no free liquid, making it suitable for portable equipment. By comparison, the first wet cells were typically fragile glass containers with lead rods hanging from the open top and needed careful handling to avoid spillage. Lead-acid battery did not achieve the safety and portability of the dry cell until the development of the gel battery.


           A common dry cell is the zinc–carbon battery, sometimes called the dry Leclanché cell, with a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts, the same as thealkaline battery (since both use the same zinc–   manganese dioxide combination).


           A standard dry cell comprises a zinc anode, usually in the form of a cylindrical pot, with a carbon cathode in the form of a central rod. Theelectrolyte is ammonium chloride in the form of a paste next to the zinc anode. The remaining space between the electrolyte and carbon cathode is taken up by a second paste consisting of ammonium chloride and manganese dioxide, the latter acting as a depolariser. In some designs, the ammonium chloride is replaced by zinc chloride.


Types of dry cells:

* Primary cell

* Zinc-carbon cells, also known as Leclanche cells

* Alkaline battery

* Lithium battery

* Mercury battery

* Silver oxide battery

* Secondary cell

* Nickel-cadmium battery

* Lithium ion battery

* Nickel metal hydride battery

Primary cells are not rechargeable. They have to be thrown away after their chemicals are used up.

Secondary cells are rechargeable. They can be used again.


Line art drawing of a dry cell:

1. brass cap, 2. plastic seal, 3. expansion space, 4. porous cardboard, 5. zinc can, 6. carbon rod, 7. chemical mixture.



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