Primary cell

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A primary cell is a battery that is made to be used one time only. It cannot be recharged. Once all the power is used up, the battery must be thrown away. It no longer makes electricity. Primary cells are often used to give power to small appliances that are used in the home.

The advantages about this kind of disposable battery are:

  • it costs less money
  • it is easier to make
  • it can last longer before being used (shelf life)
  • it is easily available to buy

The disadvantages about this kind of disposable batteries are:

  • it is making waste when thrown away
  • it can be made with toxic materials

Examples[change | change source]

Historic primary cells[change | change source]

The following primary cells are only of historical interest. The dry cell is now almost universal.

Name Positive plate Negative plate Electrolyte Depolarizer Voltage Link
Bunsen cell Carbon Zinc Sulphuric acid Nitric acid 1.9 [1]
Daniell cell Copper Zinc Sulphuric acid Copper sulphate 1.1 [2]
Grove cell Platinum Zinc Sulphuric acid Nitric acid 1.9 [3]
Poggendorff cell Carbon Zinc Sulphuric acid Chromic acid 2.0 [4]

Related pages[change | change source]