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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Can batteries be stored in devices for long periods of time?
No. Batteries should be removed from any device that will be stored for long periods of time.
Can different battery types be mixed in a single device?
No. Never mix battery types-such as include alkaline, heavy duty, and rechargeable-in a single device. Battery leakage may occur.
Can old and new batteries be mixed in a single device?
No. Never mix old and new batteries in a single device-battery leakage may occur. Replace all batteries in a device at the same time.
How are batteries being recycled?
When batteries can't be used, they have to be recycled. Most of the batteries can be recycled.

Alkaline batteries are recycled in metals industry and to recover steel, zinc, ferromanganese etc. NiCd/NiMH batteries are used to recover the Cadmium and Nickel. Li-Ion batteries are recycled to recover Cobalt and button cells to recover the mercury.

In 2006 the EU passed the Battery Directive of which one of the aims is a higher rate of battery recycling. Approximately 70% of the batteries collected are recycled today in an existing recycling market in Europe. This rate will increase over the next years.
How do I find the right VARTA alkaline battery?
According to the spread offers, it's always complicated to find the right battery. The VARTA ranges have to simplify your choice. There are two kinds of VARTA batteries: Alkaline (primary) and rechargeable (NiMH) batteries.

The VARTA Alkaline batteries belong to the primary batteries which couldn't be recharged. Strictly, primary batteries are useful where long periods of storage are required. VARTA alkaline range offers different products with specific functions in order to answer at best all your expectations.
  • The Max Tech batteries for high-tech devices and fluctuating demands such as MP3-Players.
  • High Energy batteries for energy-hungry devices with high energy demands such as remote control or clocks.
  • The Longlife for simple devices with rather low and constant energy demands such as flashlights or alarm clock.
  • The VARTA Professional Lithium batteries are usable for analog and digital cameras. They are recommended for a professional use because of their high performance.
Moreover, we are providing for you the best communication by the use of pictograms which have to facilitate your choice. So, do not hesitate to refer you to the pictograms!
How does a battery work?
Batteries may seem simple, but the delivery of packaged power is a complicated electrochemical process. Electric current in the form of electrons begins to flow in the external circuit when the device-a light bulb for example-is turned on. At that time, the anode material, zinc, gives up two electrons per atom in a process called oxidation, leaving unstable zinc ions behind. After the electrons do their work powering the light bulb, they re-enter the cell at the cathode, where they combine with the active material, manganese dioxide, in a process called reduction. The combined processes of oxidation and reduction couldn't occur in a power cell without an internal way to carry electrons back to the anode, balancing the external flow of current. This process is accomplished by the movement of negatively charged hydroxide ions present in the water solution called the electrolyte. Every electron entering the cathode reacts with the manganese dioxide to form MnOO-. Then, MnOO- reacts with water from the electrolyte. In that reaction, the water splits, releasing hydroxide ions into the electrolyte and hydrogen ions that combine with MnOO- to form MnOOH. The internal circuit is completed when the hydroxide ions produced in this reaction at the cathode flow to the anode in the form of ionic current. There, they combine with unstable zinc ions, which were formed at the anode when the electrons were originally given up to the external circuit. This produces zinc oxide and water. This completes the circuit (which is necessary to have a constant flow of electricity) and powers your torch.
How does the cold affect batteries?
Batteries can't deliver much power when they are cold. You may find that the flashlight kept in your car in the middle of winter casts a faint beam. Let the batteries warm up to normal temperature, and try them again before you decide to replace the batteries.
How should I dispose of my alkaline batteries?
Batteries have to be disposed in electronics stores, in Supermarkets or in shopping centers. Never dispose of batteries in fire, as this could cause an explosion.
What is inside a battery?
Strictly, the battery is the result of an electrochemical process that converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy. The process takes place between the anode, the cathode and the electrolyte, the three major parts of a battery. The anode is often a metal, the cathode a metallic oxide, and the electrolyte a solution that facilitates the ion flow. Depending of the battery type, the solution could be an alkaline, zinc-air, zinc-carbon or etc. solution for primary cells, NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydrid) or NiCD (Nickel Cadmium) for rechargeable cells.
When should I remove batteries from my device?
Batteries should be removed from devices/equipment when:

  • The device is not expected to be in use for several months
  • The batteries are worn out (to prevent possible damage from battery leakage)
  • The device is being powered by household (AC) current
Where should batteries be stored?
Batteries have to be stored in a cool, dry location. Avoid temperature extremes that reduce considerably their performance. Keep batteries in original package until you are ready to use them.
Who invented the battery?
The Italian physicist Alessandro Volta developed the first electrochemical cell in 1748. The term of "battery" according to electronic devices fundamentally appeared with Franklin in the same year in order to describe the collection of multiple electrochemical cells. In 1791, while working at Bologna University, Luigi Galvani discovered that the muscle of a frog would contract when touched by a metallic object. This phenomenon became known as animal electricity. Prompted by these experiments, Volta initiated a series of experiments using zinc, lead, tin and iron as positive plates (cathode); and copper, silver, gold and graphite as negative plates (anode) and invented the first battery also known as the voltaic pile in 1800.
Why shouldn't you mix old batteries with new ones?
The performance of a battery-operated product is limited by the weakest of all the batteries in the device. One old or weak battery can cause poor product performance even if all the others are new or fully charged.
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