VIDEO – How a zinc-carbon battery is made

In this video we’ll explain how zinc-carbon batteries are made.


Over 200 years ago Alessandro Volta invented the first battery. He discovered that by placing copper and zinc discs on top of each other, and separating each with a brine soaked cloth, he could create an electrical power source.

His invention was called the Voltaic Pile in honour of the inventor and because it was, well, a pile of materials.

The basic principle of battery construction has not changed to this day.

Batteries are made up of cells. Each cell has a positive cathode and a negative anode.

The anode and cathode are kept physically apart with a separator but, for the cell to work, both are placed in contact with each other via electrolyte.

In this state the cell is almost inactive, it only has the potential to create electricity.

When connected to an appliance a chemical reaction takes place within the materials which causes electrons to flow through the circuit.

The materials which make up the cathode, the anode, the separator and the electrolyte vary depending on the type of battery or, as it’s known, the battery chemistry. There are numerous chemistries. And numerous types within each chemistry.

In this video we’ll look at how Zinc Carbon batteries are made

The process starts with an empty zinc can which is both the case, the negative anode and the negative electrode.

A paper disc with a crown is placed at the very bottom of the can. A second flat paper separator rolled into a cyclinder is then inserted. These two elements will prevent the positive cathode material which will be placed inside from making contact with the negative anode case.

The can is then filled with a damp powdered mixture of ammonium chloride electrolyte and Manganese Oxide. This is the cathode material.

A carbon rod for collecting electricity is inserted into this cathode material. This is the positive electrode.

A plastic gasket is placed over the top to ensure the internal elements don’t dry out and to prevent any leakage.

The battery is then placed in a resin tube.

Because the bottom of the casing is usually flat a metal negative terminal is added and fixed into place by shrink wrapping the resin tube.

At the positive end of the battery a metal terminal is also added and also held in position by the shrink wrapped resin tube.

For marketing or labelling purposes a plastic outer foil is usually added

Now you know how a Zinc Carbon battery is made remember to check out our other videos about Lead Acid, Alkaline, Lithium and Nickel battery types.

And for more information on all battery related topics simply search “BatteryGuy Knowledge Base” of visit us at forward slash kb

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