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Cell

feature
Anode

Cathode

Electrolyte
Energy/densi
ty (kWh/kg)

Cost and
practicality

Impact on
society

Environment
al impact

Type of Cell
Dry

Lead-acid

Button

Fuel

Zn(s)

Pt on porous
graphite with H2(g)

Zn(s)

Pb(s)

MnO2(s)

PbO2(s)

Ammonium
chloride & zinc
chloride paste

35% (w/w)
sulfuric acid

Potassium
hydroxide
solution in
porous carrier

0.090

0.030

0.125

Inexpensive;
reliable but
suffers principally
from a low
energy density;
best for
infrequent use;
used for low
energy drain
appliances; easy
to store.

Expensive;
capable of high
power densities
but cells undergo
relatively rapid
self-discharge;
electrolyte must
be checked
regularly using a
hydrometer.

Expensive; ideal for


applications where
small size and light
weight are
important; provide
considerable
amounts of energy
at a constant
voltage over a long
period of time.

First commercial
battery; big
impact on society
as it made things
such as torches,
portable radios,
battery-operated
clocks and toys
possible.

Allowed self starters


and other
convenience devices
such as parking lights
to be introduced to
motor cars; allowed
people in remote
locations to use
electric lights and
refrigerators without
having to run
mechanical
generators.

Minimal
environmental
problems upon
disposal.

Environmentally
unfriendly;
releases toxic
waste.

HgO(s)

Ag2O(s)

Pt, Ag2O on porous


graphite with O2(g)

Vanadium
redox
Electrically
conductive graphite
impregnated polymer
sheet with graphite
felt heat bonded on
each side to allow the
electrode formed to
be a flow-through
electrode.

Lithium
Li(s)

TiS2(s)

Gratzel

(Liquid Junction
Photovoltaic device)

Two transparent electrodes


enclose layer of dye
containing ruthenium ions
coated onto crystals of a
semiconductor, TiO2 ; as
dye absorbs light, photons
cause e- in dye to become
excited; e- pulled from dye
by TiO2 and passed onto
electrode.

Solution containing
I- ions (provides source of

KOH

Anolyte: V2+(aq)
Catholyte: VO2+(aq)

Solid lithium
iodide

0.150

Expensive; high
fuel efficiency;
high power
density, packing
more power in a
smaller space
allowing use in
portable
electronic
devices.

Inexpensive; large
storage capacities;
low maintenance;
instant recharge is
possible by replacing
the spent
electrolytes; cost per
kWh decreases as the
energy capacity
increases, making
large scale
applications cost
effective.

Expensive;
deliver high
current; long
shelf-life; very
good power to
weight ratio; high
energy density.

80% cheaper to
produce and twice
as efficient at
converting light
energy into
electrical energy as
the currently
available cells.

Allowed
miniaturisation of
many devices
(hearing aids, photoelectric light meters
in cameras); ability
to produce a very
stable current made
it highly suitable for
portable electronic
devices (watches,
calculators).

Can enable a
transition to a
secure, renewable
energy future, based
on the use of
hydrogen; used in
spacecraft (Apollo)
and space shuttle
programs as a
source of electrical
energy and water.

A solar demonstration
house built in
Thailand has shown
that energy self
sufficient housing is
not far off;
implementation in a
golf cart shows great
promise for
specialised traction
applications; may
eventually lead to
electric vehicle
applications due to
ease in recharging.

Allowed use of
portable
computers,
laptops and
mobile phones
due to high
current and
energy density.

This important new


renewable energy
technology may
lead to widespread
use of solar power.

Release
toxic
Hg;
toxic to
human

Environmentally
friendly since no
waste products
are produced.

Environmentally
friendly since no
waste products
are produced.

Do not
produce
toxic
waste.

HSC Course Chemistry


Amber

Environmentally
friendly; no toxic
products.

e- to replace those knocked


out from dye by sunlight.

Environmentally
friendly; no waste
produced;
renewable energy.

nervous
system.

Redox equations

Dry cell:
Zn(s) + 2MnO2(aq) + 2H+(aq)

Zn2+(aq) + Mn2O3(s) + H2O(l)

Lead-acid cell:
Pb(s) + PbO2(s) + 4H+(aq) + 2SO42-(aq)

2PbSO4(s) + 2H2O(l)

Button cell:

Mercury oxide:
Zn(s) + HgO(s) + H2O(l)

Zn(OH)2(s) + Hg(l)

Silver oxide:
Zn(s) + Ag2O(s) + H2O(l)

Zn(OH)2(s) + 2Ag(s)

Fuel cell:
2H2(g) + O2(g)

2H2O(l)

Vanadium redox cell:


V2+(aq) + VO2+(aq) + 2H+(aq)

V3+(aq) + VO2+(aq) + H2O(l)

Lithium cell:
Li(s) + TiS2(s)

Li+(s) + TiS2-(s)

HSC Course Chemistry


Amber