Difference Between Lithium & Alkaline Batteries

Difference Between Lithium & Alkaline Batteries
••• jacus/iStock/GettyImages

Alkaline and lithium batteries are the two most common types of batteries used as personal power sources. Both have different chemical compositions and voltage ranges; these differences become more significant as lithium batteries cross over into the AA and AAA market that alkaline batteries once dominated.

Function

Alkaline batteries use zinc and manganese oxide to generate power, while lithium batteries use lithium metal or compounds as their anode.

Types

Lithium batteries are mostly known as the small coin-shaped batteries used to power watches, calculators and small remote controls. However, lithium batteries have expanded into AA and AAA versions to compete with alkaline batteries.

Effects

Lithium batteries produce twice as much voltage as alkaline batteries, giving them longer life, and making their AA and AA versions more expensive than their alkaline counterparts.

Misconceptions

Lithium batteries are not the same as lithium ion batteries. Unlike lithium ion, lithium batteries are not rechargeable.

Warning

The Transportation Security Administration heavily restricts carrying lithium batteries on airplanes due to the high risk of discharge if they short circuit. Some states also restrict the amount of batteries sold due to their suspected use in meth labs.

Related Articles

Lithium vs. Titanium Batteries
Can Nimh Chargers Be Used on Lithium Ion Batteries?
Environmental Problems That Batteries Cause
Lithium vs. Titanium Batteries
The Difference Between AC Batteries & DC Batteries
Lithium vs. Lithium Ion Batteries
How Do Batteries Work? Parts, Types & Terminology (w/...
How to Hook Up a 480V, 208V, or 120V Transformer
How to Write Notes on a TI-84 Silver Edition Calculator
What Is the Voltage of AA Battery?
Why Not Mix Two Types of AA Batteries?
302 Vs. 304 Stainless Steel
How to Convert Pounds Per Square Foot to PSI
Uses of Silver Oxide Batteries
Batteries Rely on What to Separate Positive & Negative...
How to Calculate DC Voltage
How to Power a LED
Solar Power vs. Coal
What Do Batteries Do to the Environment If Not Properly...
What Are the Functions of a Zener Diode?