Alkaline Battery vs Lithium Battery: What Are the Differences?

Batteries are an essential part of our lives. They power our mobile phones, tablets, and remote controls for our televisions. The global battery market is worth over $100 billion.

There are two main types of battery in use today, the alkaline battery and the lithium battery. If you’ve been wondering about the key differences when it comes to an alkaline battery vs a lithium battery then you’ve come to the right place.

In this short guide, we’ll take a look at the main differences between these two battery types.

Alkaline Battery Vs Lithium Battery

One of the key differences between an alkaline battery and a lithium battery is the construction. These two types of batteries are made of different materials and as a result, have different uses.

Alkaline batteries are predominantly made from steel and a mix of zinc, manganese, potassium, and graphite. Lithium batteries, on the other hand, are usually made from a combination of carbon, lithium salt, and metal oxide.

Common Uses for Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are disposable so their most common use is in small household items such as:

  • Remote controls
  • MP3 players
  • Digital cameras
  • Flashlights
  • Small radios
  • Fire alarms

Alkaline batteries are long-lasting and safe to handle and use so they are the perfect battery for use across items in the home. They are ideal for items that don’t need a constant supply of power, which is why you find them in items that are switched off when not in use.

Common Uses for Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries have a consistent power output so they are often used in electrical items that require a constant power supply such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and medical equipment.

Lithium batteries last longer so they are a popular choice for handheld power tools that are used on work sites. Lithium batteries also withstand cold temperatures much better than alkaline batteries so they are often used in outdoor equipment.

Recycling Batteries

Alkaline batteries are much easier to recycle than lithium batteries. Most recycling centers worldwide will accept and recycle alkaline batteries. The different elements in lithium batteries, such as a Motorola battery, are more difficult to recycle.

Lithium batteries consist of different parts that could explode if they’re not taken apart carefully. This makes recycling them more expensive, but even then, once they’re disassembled many of the parts aren’t easy to use again.

Which Type of Battery Is Best?

It’s difficult to reach a conclusive answer when looking at an alkaline battery vs a lithium battery.

While alkaline batteries are easier to recycle, they are built for single use. Lithium batteries are rechargeable and can last for several years. Alkaline batteries are safer overall than lithium batteries due to the components that are inside them.

Whether one battery is better than the other just comes down to the specific use it is intended for.

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