There are many types and brands of batteries in our wearables, phones, smart devices and so on. They may look different on the outside and claim to be best of brands. However, the battery chemistry powering all our devices stores chemical energy the same way.To quote Antoine Allanore, MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering postdoctoral associate, they all do the same thing.
More About the Battery Chemistry Powering All Our Devices
Batteries store chemical energy and convert it to electricity, Antoine Allanore explains. While it’s impossible to store electricity, we can store electrical energy in the chemicals inside a battery case.
There are two terminals inside the case made of different metals, plus an electrolyte that manages how these interact. We don’t quite understand exactly how this happens, but we do know electrical charges flow between the anode and cathode terminals. This happens when we use any battery to power any device. However, it may be possible to return the electrical energy with a battery charger, depending on the battery chemistry powering all our devices.
More Details About the Chemical Process
The electrical energy stores in the negative anode on a fully charged battery. These ions progressively transfer to the cathode as the battery powers the device. However, the two electrodes do not touch each other. That’s because a separating electrolyte only allows the ions to pass between them.
There are two broad types of battery chemistries. The first are the non rechargeable ones we should hand in for recycling when all their ions are in their cathodes. We call the second type secondary ones, because a battery charger can return their ions to the anode for reuse. However, some ions deactivate permanently during each cycle, until the battery eventually fails.
Researchers are continuously trying to improve this relatively inefficient process. However batteries are currently the best option we have, for affordable storage that meets our portable electricity needs.