Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t recharge alkaline batteries.
If you were a child during the 1960s or 1970s, you might have remembered being able to purchase a charger for disposable alkaline batteries. No, your memory is not failing you. Back then, people did in fact recharge their disposable batteries. It is still possible today.
So, are alkaline batteries rechargeable? It is possible to recharge alkaline batteries. However, it is not considered to be cost-effective and does have some risks. Let’s find out.
Are Alkaline Batteries Rechargeable?
We advise against it, and no, it’s not just because we sell smart USB rechargeable batteries. We advise against it for two reasons:
- Alkaline batteries are not designed to be recharged, and
- Recharging them can be dangerous.
If you’re old enough to remember alkaline battery chargers from fifty years ago, you may recall how warm the batteries got while being recharged. You might even recall incidents of battery leakage. Both consequences explain why it is just not smart to recharge alkaline batteries.
Why You Shouldn’t Recharge Alkaline Batteries?
Why not recharge alkaline batteries? Read on to find out.
Meant to Be Disposable
Single-use or disposable alkaline batteries are widely advertised. Lithium-ion cells, on the other hand, were designed as rechargeable batteries and are sold as such. Chemistry and design are the main distinctions in this regard. Simply put, alkaline batteries are designed to be single-use cells. Manufacturers want you to buy their products, use them for their intended purpose, and then throw them away.
Alkaline batteries could be attempted to be recharged, but full recharge is not possible and there are inherent risks. Simply put, alkaline batteries are not constructed in that way. Figure out Are Alkaline Batteries Allowed on Planes.
The limitation on the number of recharges an alkaline disposable battery can receive—7 to 10 times, at most—puts the final nail in the coffin. So few charge cycles simply don’t make up for the time and money spent recharging alkalines. Purchasing intelligent lithium batteries with a thousand or more recharges is preferable.
To learn more about alkaline batteries:
Charging Cycles on and Off
The biggest risk with recharging alkaline batteries is leakage. Alkaline batteries leak, as you’re probably aware, even under normal conditions. Internal off-gassing, made worse by heat, creates pressure that can breach battery seals. Therefore, when charging, the possibility of leakage increases.
You have to continuously turn a charger on and off to recharge alkaline batteries safely. After about 30 minutes of operation, the charger is turned off for the necessary amount of time to allow the batteries to completely cool. With every cycle, the batteries’ voltage spikes considerably without a commensurate increase in recharging. As a result, finishing the task may require 10 to 12 continuous hours of charging.
To begin with, that takes too much time and effort. However, the issue is not limited to that. It is risky to recharge alkaline batteries. If cycling is not maintained, too much heat may accumulate. An explosion caused by an alkaline battery could result from this, which would be bad in any case.
Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?
Not the regular alkaline batteries, then. Rechargeable alkaline batteries do exist, but they have major disadvantages:
Firstly, you need a special charger, which is usually relatively expensive. It can be hazardous (explosion risk) to charge alkaline batteries in chargers made for genuine nickel-hydride and nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries.
Second, an alkaline battery’s voltage can abruptly drop to a point below which it cannot be recharged. The problem is that while using it, you do not know when this point has been reached. Therefore, if you want to use the device for a longer time, you have to recharge it quickly, which is a drawback.
Alkaline batteries can never be fully recharged, which brings us to our third point. The energy that is still available quickly declines after several uses of the batteries. In theory, you will be able to reload them a few dozen times at most. The net return, however, is incredibly meager.
Because of these disadvantages, it is better to buy actual rechargeable batteries. The higher initial voltage is the only benefit of charging alkaline batteries. However, this voltage begins to fall below that of actual rechargeable batteries at a certain point.
Conclusion: Do Not Recharge Alkaline Batteries
Rechargeable alkaline batteries can be used. It does have some risks, though, and is not regarded as being cost-effective. Recharging any battery can cause the production of gas within the battery. Since an alkaline battery is normally sealed, very high pressures can be created within it.
Lithium-ion batteries are by far the best option if you enjoy battery recharging. These can be recharged, as was previously stated. They are built with that in mind. They are simpler to recharge, safer to recharge, and less prone to leak or blow up.
How Do I Know If a Battery is Rechargeable?
A rechargeable battery’s charging capacity, expressed in mAh (milliamp hours), is a gauge of its size. This number is printed on both the battery’s packaging and the battery itself. There are 3 main types of rechargeable batteries:
- NiCd (Nickel-Cadmium)
- NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride)
- Li-ion (Lithium Ion)
What is the Difference between Alkaline and Rechargeable Batteries?
Whereas an alkaline battery may drop from “powering” to “dead” pretty quickly, a rechargeable battery may hang on at a lower voltage for slightly longer, resulting in unexpected behavior such as dimming lights or a clock that can’t keep time.
How Long Do Alkaline Batteries Hold Their Charge?
A rechargeable battery cannot be charged if the power is out, to start. Second, alkaline batteries tend to have much longer shelf lives than rechargeable options, with top brands guaranteed to hold a charge for as long as ten years.