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History of Chemistry: Improvement in Battery Technology Essay

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Through advancements in chemistry dating back to the 1700’s, the use of technology is more than the baby boomers could have dreamed of. Before the end of the 19th century, batteries were the main source of electricity. Improvements in battery technology made it possible for our generation to have computers, electric cars, alarm clocks, hand held devices, cell phones, and many other electrical devices.
Many electrical devices that we use today need a small amount of electricity to make them work. (1) They get it from a battery. Chemicals work together inside a battery to make electricity. The electricity travels through wires to make many of the electrical devices work. The battery stops working when the chemicals are used up. A
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In 1859, the first rechargeable battery was invented.
Batteries that followed the Voltaic Pile included the Daniell Cell, a rechargeable battery made with nickel and cadmium electrodes in a potassium hydroxide solution. This was the first battery to use alkaline electrolyte. These batteries were much better, but were very expensive. Zinc-carbon batteries continued to be popular batteries, but they had a low battery life. In 1955 Leis Urry was asked to find a way to extend the life of zinc-carbon batteries, but he decided that alkaline batteries might be a better way to go. Alkaline batteries had been invented but they were so expensive that people couldn’t buy them. Urry’s new battery was made using manganese dioxide cathode and a powdered zinc anode with an alkaline electrolyte. These batteries were available to the public and sold in 1959.
For many years, the only rechargeable battery was the battery made with nickel and cadmium electrodes for portable applications. In the 1990s, environmentalists in Europe became concerned about environmental contamination from these batteries if they were not carefully disposed of. They began to restrict this chemistry and asked the consumer industry to switch to Nickel-metal-hydride, an environmentally friendlier battery.
In the 1970’s the nickel hydrogen battery was introduced as an energy storage subsystem for commercial communication satellites. This led the
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