The average alkaline AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt or button-cell battery is made of steel and a mix of zinc/manganese/potassium/graphite, with the remaining balance made up of paper and plastic. Being non-toxic materials, all of these battery “ingredients” are conveniently recyclable. For more recycling information, visit our Battery Recycling page. For more details of exactly what is inside a battery, check out our Battery Chemistry page.

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What are the parts of a battery?

Seven different components make up a typical household battery: container, cathode, separator, anode, electrodes, electrolyte, and collector. Each element has its own job to do, and all the different parts of a battery working together create the reliable and long-lasting power you rely on every day. Learn more about this process by visiting How Batteries Work.

Parts of a battery

The answer to “what is inside a battery?” starts with a breakdown of what makes a battery a battery.

Container Steel can that houses the cell’s ingredients to form the cathode, a part of the electrochemical reaction.

Cathode A combo of manganese dioxide and carbon, cathodes are the electrodes reduced by the electrochemical reaction.

Separator Non-woven, fibrous fabric that separates the electrodes.

Anode Made of powered zinc metal, anodes are electrodes that are oxidized.

Electrolyte Potassium hydroxide solution in water, the electrolyte is the medium for the movement of ions within the cell. It carries the iconic current inside the battery.

Collector Brass pin in the middle of the cell that conducts electricity to the outside circuit.

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