FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Get answers to your Duracell product or brand-related questions. Select a category from the pull-down list below or click on the question you’re interested in to expand it and see the answer.
- All Questions
- GENERAL PRODUCT INFORMATION
- TECHNICAL INFORMATION
- BATTERY CHEMISTRY TYPES
- OTHER QUESTIONS
- BATTERY HANDLING & DISPOSAL
Q. What is a lithium battery?A.
Duracell's lithium/manganese dioxide batteries represent one of the latest advances in primary battery technology. For applications with a high-current pulse and continuous drain, Duracell offers high-rate 3- and 6-volt lithium batteries. Low-power lithium coin cells are also available for use in memory backup applications and small electronic devices.
All Duracell lithium batteries provide:
- Very high density and excellent rate capability
- Up to 4 times the power of alkaline batteries
- Wide operating temperature range (-40°F to 140°F) and excellent low temperature performance
- Excellent shelf life (0.5% capacity loss per year at room temperature)
Q. What is the difference between the battery types?A. Alkaline-MnO2 is a popular, multi-use premium battery with good low-temperature and high-rate performance, a good shelf life, and sloping discharge characteristics. Uses include: general purpose, e.g., audio, communication equipment, lighting, toys, photographic equipment, cameras, and professional electronics. Alkaline-MnO2 is popular for devices used most.
Lithium/MnO2 is a battery with high energy density, excellent rate capability and low-temperature performance, an excellent shelf life, and relatively flat discharge characteristic. Uses include: photographic and electronic applications requiring small, high-power batteries, e.g., cameras, personal organizers, memory back-up, computer peripherals, communications equipment, security transmitters, and lighting.
Zinc Air batteries have the highest energy density on continuous discharge, an excellent shelf life when not activated, moderate rate capability, limited shelf life when activated, and flat discharge characteristic. Uses include: hearing aids, medical monitoring instruments, and other frequently used applications.
Silver Oxide batteries have high gravimetric capacity, good shelf life, and a flat discharge characteristic. Uses include: watches, photographic equipment, and special electronics requiring small, high-capacity batteries.
Q. What is the difference between Duracell Ultra Power and Duracell CopperTop?A. Certain devices require more power and drain batteries faster than others. Duracell Ultra Power batteries are designed to get the best performance out of high drain devices such as electronic test equipment and door locks. Duracell CopperTop is designed to give you reliable, long life in devices you use most.
Q. How should I dispose of batteries?A. Though you can dispose of our alkaline types in normal household waste, certain batteries should never be disposed of in this manner. It is important not to dispose of any type of battery in large groups, as they may come into contact with one another and cause safety concerns. To find out more about battery disposal, check out our site at: http://duracell.com/care_disposal/disposal.asp
Q. Can I mix different battery types?A.
No, different batteries are designed for different purposes. Mixing a lithium battery with an alkaline battery will not improve device performance. In fact, it will reduce performance, and may even damage your device or cause the batteries to leak. Use only the battery type specified by the manufacturer of your device.
Q. How do Duracell batteries affect the environment?A.
As the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries, Duracell recognizes our responsibility to help protect the environment. We're committed to designing, manufacturing, and distributing batteries in a way that minimizes the impact on the environment. We also participate in the industry's efforts to ensure the safe disposal or recycling of batteries.
In 1993, Duracell voluntarily eliminated added mercury from our batteries. Our alkaline batteries are composed of primarily common materials (steel, zinc, and manganese) and do not pose a health or environmental risk in normal use or disposal.
Q. Can batteries explode when placed in fire?A. Yes. Batteries should never be placed in fire or in other extreme temperatures, as they may rupture and cause safety risks.
Q. Should I store my batteries in the refrigerator or freezer?A. All batteries should be stored in a cool, dry environment. We don't recommend refrigerating or freezing batteries. It won't make them last longer. In fact, the moisture in the refrigerator or freezer may cause deterioration.
Q. What is inside a battery?A. Batteries may be small, but they are far from simple. They are highly engineered electrochemical cells. Chemical energy is converted to electrical energy by means of redox reaction. This process takes place between the three major parts of a battery: the anode, cathode, and electrolyte. Different types of batteries use different materials for these parts. The materials for these parts are chosen depending on how well they give up or attract electrons, something that must happen for an electric current to be generated. The anode is often a metal, the cathode is a metallic oxide, and the electrolyte is a salt solution that facilitates the ion flow.
Q. Do all batteries last the same amount of time?A. No, different batteries provide different lengths of life and power output depending on the type and amount of chemicals used to compose them. You can compare it to cooking a meal: using different ingredients and amounts make the meal taste different.
Q. How does a battery work?A.
Batteries may seem simple, but the delivery of packaged power is a complicated electrochemical process. Electric current in the form of electrons begins to flow in the external circuit when the device, a light bulb for example, is turned on. At that time, the anode material, zinc, gives up two electrons per atom in a process called oxidation, leaving unstable zinc ions behind. After the electrons do their work powering the light bulb, they re-enter the cell at the cathode, where they combine with the active material, manganese dioxide, in a process called reduction.
The combined processes of oxidation and reduction could not occur in a power cell without an internal way to carry electrons back to the anode, balancing the external flow of current. This process is accomplished by the movement of negatively charged hydroxide ions present in the water solution called the electrolyte. Every electron entering the cathode reacts with the manganese dioxide to form MnOO-. Then, MnOO- reacts with water from the electrolyte. In that reaction, the water splits, releasing hydroxide ions into the electrolyte and hydrogen ions that combine with MnOO- to form MnOOH.
The internal circuit is completed when the hydroxide ions produced in this reaction at the cathode flow to the anode in the form of ionic current. There, they combine with unstable zinc ions, which were formed at the anode when the electrons were originally given up to the external circuit. This produces zinc oxide and water. This completes the circuit, which is necessary to have a constant flow of electricity, and powers your flashlight.
Q. What is an alkaline battery?A. Duracell pioneered the Alkaline Manganese Dioxide electrochemical system nearly 40 years ago. In the 1960's, this battery system rapidly became the popular choice of designers in the ever-widening field of consumer electronics. Alkaline or Alkaline Manganese Dioxide cells have many advantages over zinc-carbon cells, including up to 10 times the ampere-hour capacity at high- and continuous-drain conditions.
Also, its performance at low temperatures is superior to other conventional aqueous electrolyte primary cells. Other significant advantages are longer shelf life, better leakage resistance, and superior low-temperature performance. It’s more effective, secure seal provides excellent resistance to leakage and corrosion. Today, Duracell manufactures two alkaline batteries: Duracell Ultra Power and Duracell, The CopperTop.
Q. How can I get a better life out of my batteries?A.
To help extend the life of your batteries:
- Turn off battery-operated radios and appliances when they're not in use.
- Remove batteries from devices that won't be used for a while.
- Store your batteries in a dry place at normal room temperature without the contacts touching.
- Understand the difference between battery types and dispose of them appropriately. Mercury-free alkaline, lithium, zinc-carbon, and zinc air batteries are safe for disposal with ordinary household waste.
- Car batteries containing lead should be disposed of only at waste management centers, where they can eventually be recycled. Because of the value of their materials, many auto retailers and service centers will "buy back" your used car batteries for recycling.
- Rechargeable batteries containing cadmium or lead should be collected and recycled.
- Check with your local community or sanitation department before disposal of batteries.
- If you or others are interested in establishing a battery-recycling program in your area, contact your local government's solid waste administrator.
Q. Why use a Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery?A.
Many of today's high-drain devices like digital cameras require replacing your batteries more often than you're used to—why not choose Duracell NiMH batteries? They can be recharged hundreds of times.
The Duracell rechargeable AA battery is ideally suited for powering digital cameras, flashlights, and other devices that require a lot of power. Also available are AAA batteries, which are useful in small electronic devices such as mp3s and wireless office equipment. Duracell rechargeable NiMH batteries and chargers offer you the quality and dependability you've come to trust from Duracell, in a long-lasting, cost-effective power option.
Q. I put a 9-volt battery in my pocket and it got hot. Is that normal?A. Yes, we print a caution on our packaging warning consumers not to carry or store batteries loose, as they can be shorted by contact with any metal objects, even coins. There is a potential for leakage or even rupture.
Q. Do I have to change all the batteries at the same time?A. We do recommend changing all batteries in a unit at the same time. A partially used battery will drain energy from a new one, reducing the total amount of battery power available.
Q. Does it matter what type of battery I use in my device?A.
Always replace the battery or batteries in your equipment with the size and type specified by the manufacturer. Alkaline batteries are often recommended for best performance, as zinc-carbon batteries have inferior life spans and equipment may not operate properly if zinc-carbon batteries are used.
Q. Which way do the +/- on my batteries go?A. Carefully follow instructions on your equipment regarding proper insertion of batteries, ensuring that the (+) and (-) terminals are aligned correctly.
CAUTION: Some equipment using three or more batteries may appear to work properly even if one battery is inserted incorrectly; such usage may lead to battery leakage or rupture that could result in equipment damage.
Q. Which battery type should I use in extreme temperatures?A. If equipment must be used periodically in extreme temperatures, premium alkaline batteries are recommended as they perform much better than zinc-carbon batteries under such conditions.
Q. Why do batteries have different voltages and capacities?A.
Different devices operate at different voltages and power levels. They all require batteries that provide the necessary power output at a minimum discharging voltage. The voltage of a given battery depends on the number of single cells connected in series and on their electrochemical system. For instance, a lithium-manganese-dioxide cell has a nominal voltage of 3 V; a rechargeable lead-acid cell offers 2 V, while an alkaline-manganese cell has an initial voltage of approximately 1.5 V.
The capacity of a battery is calculated by the amount of active ingredients stored inside its housing. Rated capacity can be misleading because it doesn't provide a measure of a battery's ability to deliver energy. The actual delivered capacity is highly dependent on:
- Drain rate (load)
- Operating temperature
- Cutoff voltage
- Duracell Ultra Power delivers more energy in power demanding devices than standard Duracell while both products would have similar rated capacities.
In order to properly operate a specific electrical device:
- The battery's operating voltage must be matched to that of the device.
- The correct battery size must be selected in order to provide the desired operating time for the device.
- The battery must be able to deliver the power required.
- The battery's internal resistance must be smaller than that of the device.
Q. How should I handle batteries that leaked in a device?A. Although most batteries contain chemicals that won't harm exposed skin, they should still be treated as any chemical would. Always take precautions when handling exposed battery chemicals. Battery chemicals shouldn't be placed near the eyes or ingested. Contact a physician immediately if this should occur.
Q. Can alkaline batteries be recharged?A. Only batteries that are specifically labeled "rechargeable" should be recharged. Any attempt to recharge a non-rechargeable battery could result in rupture or leakage. We recommend that you use NiMH Duracell rechargeable batteries. Paired with one of our many different chargers, they can be recharged hundreds of times!
Q. My battery is wet and now there is a white powdery substance on it. What do I do?A. In the unlikely event that a battery is wet or covered with a white powdery substance, limit handling of the battery to that required for proper removal and disposal and immediately wash any exposed body surfaces and clothing with soap and water. If contact with the eyes occurs, immediately flush the eyes with running water for at least 15 minutes and then seek immediate medical assistance.
Q. When should I remove batteries from my device?A. Remove batteries from a device when it is not expected to be in use for several months. Remove worn-out batteries from equipment immediately to prevent possible damage from battery leakage. Batteries should be removed from equipment while they are being powered by household (AC) current.
Q. Can I recharge this battery?A. You can only recharge a battery if it's specifically marked "rechargeable." Recharging a non-rechargeable battery may cause it to rupture or leak and may cause personal injury.
Q. Are batteries affected by warm and cold temperatures?A. We recommend storing batteries at room temperature in a dry environment. Extreme heat or cold reduces battery performance. You'll want to avoid putting battery-powered devices in very warm places. In addition, refrigeration is not necessary or recommended.
Q. How can I remove my name from your email list?A. The easiest way to unsubscribe from a program is to click on the unsubscribe link provided in the email message. If you don't have an email message, you can easily opt out any time at this link: http://www.pg.com/privacy/optsengine/opts_engine_std_corp.jhtml?src=privstate.
Q. Who invented the battery?A. In the 1860s, George Leclanche of France developed what would be the forerunner of the world's first widely used battery, the zinc carbon cell. The anode was a zinc and mercury alloyed rod (zinc, the anode in Alessandro Volta's original cell, proved to be one of the best metals for the job). The cathode was a porous cup of crushed manganese dioxide and some carbon. Into the mix was inserted a carbon rod to act as the current collector. Both anode and the cathode cup were plunged into a liquid solution of ammonium chloride, which acted as the electrolyte. The system was called a "wet cell."
Though Leclanche's cell was rugged and inexpensive, it was eventually replaced by the improved "dry cell" in the 1880s. The anode became the zinc can containing the cell, and the electrolyte became a paste rather than a liquid—basically the zinc carbon cell that is known today.
Where does Duracell come into the picture? Find out by reading the history of Duracell. For your convenience, here's the link: http://dev.duracell.com:4152/procell/en-US/company-information.jspx
Q. Where do you get the research to back up your advertising claims?A. It's important for our products to live up to our advertising claims. We conduct extensive scientific research and laboratory testing, as well as in-home and clinical testing, to make sure our advertising claims are factual. Because of the competitive nature of our business, though, we're unable to provide details to individuals about the specific research we perform.
Q. I’m doing a science project. Can I take the battery apart?A. Do not dismantle batteries. When a battery is dismantled, contact with the components can be harmful and may cause personal injury or fire.
Q. There are Chinese letters on my batteries. What does it mean?A. The characters indicate that the batteries are mercury-free.
Q. Should I clean the battery compartment?A. For best performance, keep battery contact surfaces and battery compartment contacts clean by rubbing them with a clean pencil eraser or a clean cloth each time you replace batteries.
Q. My child likes to play with batteries. What’s the big deal?A. Remember that while batteries are popular, often commonplace devices, they generate portable power by means of potent chemical reactions. Batteries should never be disassembled, abused, mishandled, or treated as toys. A responsible adult should closely monitor the use of batteries by children.
Q. Should I remove batteries from my device if I’m not going to be using it awhile?A. Remove batteries from a device when it is not expected to be in use for several months.
Q. Can I mix old and new batteries?A. Do not mix old and new batteries, different battery types, or batteries of different brands within a device. Doing so will reduce overall performance and may cause battery leakage or rupture. We recommend replacing all batteries within a device at the same time.
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