An alkaline battery (IEC code: L) is a type of primary battery that derives its energy from the reaction between zinc metal and manganese dioxide.
Compared with zinc–carbon batteries of the Leclanché cell or zinc chloride types, alkaline batteries have a higher energy density and longer shelf life, yet provide the same voltage.
The alkaline battery gets its name because it has an alkaline electrolyte of potassium hydroxide (KOH) instead of the acidic ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) or zinc chloride (ZnCl2) electrolyte of the zinc–carbon batteries.
Other battery systems also use alkaline electrolytes, but they use different active materials for the electrodes.
Alkaline batteries account for 80% of manufactured batteries in the US and over 10 billion individual units produced worldwide. In Japan, alkaline batteries account for 46% of all primary battery sales.
In Switzerland, alkaline batteries account for 68%, in the UK 60% and in the EU 47% of all battery sales including secondary types.Alkaline batteries contain zinc (Zn) and manganese dioxide (MnO2) .