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Zahra Ali

on 3 April 2013

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ZAHRA & MICHELLE MERCURY BATTERY A mercury battery is an electrochemical cell that is made up of mercuric oxide and zinc.
Samuel Ruben developed this cell during WWII because it was durable for the harsh climates of war.
This battery is used in making many devices. Some of them are transistor radios, hearing aids, calculators, electronic watches etc.
INTRODUCTION The cell's advantages are :
Long shelf life (up to 10 years)
Steady voltage output
Highest capacity per size

The disadvantages are:
Mercury can impair the central nervous system, kidneys, lungs and liver.

As this battery is very harmful for the environment, all batteries should be disposed off directly to a mercury recycling facility. ADVANTAGES &
DISADVANTAGES In the battery mercuric oxide acts as cathode and zinc as anode.

Zn is oxidized and Hg is reduced.

Oxidation half reaction:

Zn2+ + 2e- Zn(s)

Reduction half reaction:

Hg2+ + 2e- Hg(s) REACTIONS Mercury battery has a constant voltage of 1.35 V (open circuit) until about the last 5% of their lifetime.

It is a non rechargeable battery as it is a primary cell.

The cell's discharge rate is low BATTERY INFO The single largest source of mercury is found in household batteries particularly in alkaline and button cells.

In 1996, the US Congress prohibited the sale of mercury containing batteries. They are also banned in a lot of other countries because of their harmful effects on the environment. INTERESTING FACTS Mercuric oxide(cathode) and zinc(anode)
are separated from each other with a porous material soaked with electrolyte(Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium hydroxide).
During discharge, zinc oxidizes to zinc oxide and mercuric oxide reduces to elementary mercury.

The overall reaction is :

Zn + HgO ZnO + Hg

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