How Batteries Work
A battery is a device that does store chemical energy and then it does convert it to electrical energy, the chemical reactions that do happen inside a battery do involve the flow of electrons from one material to another one and this do happen through an external circuit, and to balance the flow of electrons the charged ions do flow through an electrolyte solution that is in contact with the both electrodes, also we should know that different electrodes and electrolytes do produce different chemical reactions that do affect how the battery does work, how much energy it can do store and also its voltage.
The invention of a battery as we do know it is credited to the Italian scientist Alessandro Volta, who was the one who did put together the first battery to prove a point to Luigi Galvani (another Italian scientist) as in 1780, Galvani did has show that the legs of frogs hanging on iron or brass hooks would twitch when it is touched with a probe of some other metal’s type, Galvani did believe that this was caused by electricity from within the frogs’ tissues and he did named it “animal electricity”.
Volta who was impressed by Galvani’s findings , did believe that the electric current did come from the two different metal types and was being transmitted through not from the frogs’ tissues as Galvani did say, Volta did experiment that with stacks of silver layers and zinc which were interspersed with layers of cloth or paper soaked in saltwater and he did recognize that an electric current did in fact flow through a wire which were applied to both ends of the pile, he also did find that by using different metal in the pile this might increase the amount of voltage, Volta did describe his findings in a letter to Joseph Banks in 1800 this was a big deal and his invention earned him sustained recognition in the honor of volt.
A battery is a device that does store chemical energy and does convert it to electricity under the name of electrochemistry and the system that does underpin a battery is named an electrochemical cell, and it is important to know that a battery can be made up of one or with several electrochemical cells and each electrochemical cell does consist of two electrodes separated by an electrolyte.
Electricity is a type of energy which is produced by the flow of electrons, in each electrochemical cell electrons are been produced by a chemical reaction that does happen at one electrode and then they do flow over to another one in which they are used up as the electrons flow from one electrode called the anode to another electrode called the cathode and these are generally different types of metals or other chemical compounds.
We can find that in Volta’s pile the anode was the zinc from where which electrons did flow through the wire to the silver which was the cathode and he did stack lots of these cells together to make the total pile and crank up the voltage.
There are chemical reactions which are going on that we do need to understand; at the anode, the electrode does react with electrolyte in a reaction that does produce electrons and these electrons do accumulate at the anode, at the cathode, another chemical reaction does occur simultaneously that does enable that electrode to accept electrons.
The technical chemical term for a reaction that does involve the exchange of electrons the reduction-oxidation reaction or in another word the redox reaction, this whole reaction can be split into two half-reactions as in the case of an electrochemical cell one half-reaction does occur at the anode and the other does occur at the cathode, also we should know that reduction is the gain of electrons and is what does occur at the cathode as that we do say that the cathode is reduced during the reaction, another expression we should do know is oxidation which is the loss of electrons so we do say that the anode is oxidized.
Each of these reactions does has a particular standard potential, and we should think of this characteristic as the reaction’s ability/ efficiency to either do produce or suck up electrons-its strength in an electron tug-of-war.