How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
Question 234

What happens when a battery dies?
A battery uses its chemical potential energy to pump electric charges from its negative terminal to its positive terminal. Eventually it runs out of chemical potential energy. In an alkaline battery, the chemical potential energy is mostly contained in zinc powder and this powder oxidizes as the battery operates; in effect, it burns up in a very controlled manner. By the time the battery is dead, there just isn't much pure zinc metal left.
         

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