In this article, we will look at the differences between lithium and alkaline batteries and how to choose a battery that best suits you.
Unlike alkaline batteries, lithium batteries can produce a powerful energy surge following a protracted period of low discharge. They are perfect for fire alarms because of this. Good, long-lasting power is provided by alkaline batteries, but over time, they weaken. When selecting the best battery type for your requirements, factors like durability, performance rating, and cost-effectiveness are just a few that are very important.
So, we’ve put together this useful guide to help you avoid choosing a less effective option and to cut down on the time you’ll need to spend searching the web for information on which of these two is better.
What Are Lithium Batteries?
Lithium batteries, which come in primary and secondary cell varieties, are renowned for their lithium ion-based capacity to store energy for longer periods of time. Batteries made of lithium have a significantly higher energy density than any other type of battery cell because lithium is an incredibly light metal. As a result, they might be able to store more energy than alkaline batteries or other single-use batteries of comparable sizes.
Furthermore, lithium batteries are perfect for more durable short-term use in high-drain devices like digital cameras. Additionally, lithium batteries perform even better when powering low-drain devices with batteries that must remain on for extremely long periods of time. The rules for flying with lithium batteries depend on the battery’s watt-hours.
What Are Alkaline Batteries?
Alkaline batteries are pretty much the industry standard because they are widely available and work with all low-power consumer electronics. Energy is produced and dispersed in this primary battery by the reaction between zinc metal (the anode) and manganese oxide (the cathode).
Alkaline batteries can power a variety of portable audiovisual devices, including smaller flashlights, wall clocks, cordless phones, accent lighting that isn’t used as the primary source of illumination, toys, TV remote controls, games, handheld kitchen or grooming tools, and many other portable household appliances.
To learn more about alkaline batteries:
- Are Alkaline Batteries Allowed on Planes?
- How to Clean Alkaline Battery Corrosion Safely & Effectively?
- Are Alkaline Batteries Rechargeable? Can You Recharge Them?
Lithium Vs Alkaline Batteries
Lithium and alkaline batteries have distinct features and advantages that come in handy when deciding on which to use. Below, we’ll go over a few of them.
Compared to lithium-ion batteries, alkaline batteries are cheaper. The composition of lithium batteries contains organic compounds, which is why this is the case. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries have characteristics that make them better suited for cutting-edge technologies like electric vehicles and digital gadgets.
This has also increased the demand for these batteries making them pricier. In less demanding environments, lithium-ion batteries last longer. As an illustration, they will last longer in toys than in alkaline batteries.
When compared to alkaline batteries, this lowers the cost of replacement. In this case, it is safe to say that the lithium battery is more economical than its alkaline counterpart.
Alkaline batteries are frequently heavy and not suitable for all equipment because of their size. On the other hand, lithium batteries are preferable for portable electronics because they weigh less than alkaline batteries. A standard AAA Lithium battery weighs 33.3% less than a comparable AAA Alkaline battery to better illustrate this.
Since some medical devices like the pacemaker can run longer on a single charge thanks to the light weight of lithium batteries used in them, lithium batteries trump alkaline batteries when lightweight is crucial.
By comparing the voltage of lithium and alkaline batteries, we find that the alkaline battery has a nominal voltage of 1.5V per cell while the lithium battery runs between 1.5V and 3.0V.
Due to their higher voltage of about 3.6/3.2 volts per cell, lithium-ion batteries are suitable for higher-functioning equipment. Lithium-ion batteries can form a 72v lithium-ion battery pack or an even higher voltage battery pack, This means a lithium battery will offer better performance compared to an alkaline battery.
The lifespan of a lithium-ion battery quadruples that of an alkaline battery when these two batteries are compared as lithium vs. alkaline batteries. Lithium batteries have a lifespan of 4,000 cycles compared to 300 cycles for alkaline batteries. This is because alkaline batteries degrade even when they are not in use, losing at least 5% of their capacity daily.
However, there are non-rechargeable types of alkaline batteries that can last longer than traditional batteries due to their higher shelf life.
Alkaline batteries perform poorly in cold climates and have a lower operating temperature than lithium batteries. As a result of the battery’s internal chemical reactions being slowed down by low temperatures.
Alternately, lithium-ion batteries work best when it is cold outside. This makes these batteries best suited for use outdoors But the operating temperature of the lithium battery is -20 to 60 degrees, exceeding this range will affect the performance.
Alkaline batteries are not made to be rechargeable, unlike lithium batteries. Explosions can happen when alkaline batteries are recharged.
Lithium batteries are available in both rechargeable and non-rechargeable models. In comparison to alkaline batteries, lithium-ion batteries have a longer lifespan. For alkaline batteries, leakages and short circuits are a potential hazard to explosions and overheating during recharging.
The amount of energy a battery can store is measured by its capacity. Compared to alkaline batteries, lithium-ion batteries have a higher capacity. In contrast to alkaline batteries, which lose power while in use, lithium batteries can deliver steady high volumes of energy for a long time. A lithium battery has a slower self-discharge as well with a capacity of 1200mAH.
Which Battery is Better, Lithium Or Alkaline Batteries?
Consider the performance and capacity of lithium vs. alkaline batteries when selecting a battery, as well as how well it will accomplish the task you gave it. Both of these batteries have their peculiar features, advantages, and disadvantages.
A lithium battery offers efficiency and longevity while alkaline batteries have larger capacity than other dry batteries but lose their strength over time. With the exception of their higher price, lithium-ion batteries can be viewed as superior alternatives to alkaline batteries.
Conclusion: Lithium Vs Alkaline Batteries
Our lives would not be complete without batteries. This is why it becomes even harder when choosing lithium vs alkaline batteries. The chemistries and features of both types of batteries vary.
So, alkaline batteries are your best option if you’re pro-the environment and require a battery with high internal resistance. Lithium batteries are a better choice if you need to power high-energy gadgets and don’t want your gadget to become heavier than necessary as a result of the battery.
Is It OK to Use Lithium Batteries Instead of Alkaline?
We can use a lithium battery as a high-performing alternative to a standard alkaline battery in many cases. However, the benefits come at a cost: Lithium is a more expensive technology, which means a higher price point.
Why Should I Not Use Alkaline Batteries?
Alkaline batteries also have high internal resistance. As a result, a battery’s power output is decreased. In addition, while they are not as prone to leaking as some other types of cells and batteries, alkaline batteries will leak if left in devices unused for too long.