What is the difference between a lithium battery and an alkaline one?

Today, in the electric battery market, there are different types of batteries that meet various needs. Indeed, there are saline batteries, alkaline batteries and lithium batteries. Here we are going to take a look at lithium batteries and alkaline batteries to understand what makes them different and what are the advantages of each of these battery technologies.

Duracell batteries

What is an alkaline battery?

Alkine battries
Alkaline batteries

Let us briefly recall how an electric battery works. A battery is made up of an anode (positive pole of the battery) and a cathode (negative pole of the battery), both immersed in an electrolyte (conductive substance). The chemical reaction creates a source of energy to power electrical or electronic devices.

In everyday life, the alkaline battery replaced the saline battery, a little less elaborate battery. In an alkaline battery, the anode is made of zinc and the cathode is made of manganese dioxide. The anode and cathode are immersed in an alkaline electrolyte, hence the more common name of an alkaline battery.

Alkaline batteries are used for remote controls, flashes, flashlights, clocks, etc. For devices with medium energy consumption, alkaline technology is the most suitable.

The most popular types of alkaline batteries are batteries, AAA batteries, C batteries, D batteries, etc. Their voltage ranges from 1.5V to 9V.

What is a lithium battery?

 alkaline battery
alkaline battery

In a lithium battery, the anode is made of lithium or a compound of lithium. Depending on the types of lithium batteries, their voltage varies from 1.5V to 3.6V. For the general public, the main chemical process used is lithium manganese (Li-MnO2). The anode is therefore made of lithium and the cathode of manganese dioxide. They are used for energy-intensive household appliances such as certain types of remote controls, computers, cameras, calculators, smoke detectors, alarm systems, etc. Other types of lithium batteries are used extensively in industry as well. The types of lithium batteries, which are sold to the general public, are C button batteries (CR2016, CR2025, CR2032, etc.), batteries for watches, SAFT Lithium batteries, etc.

The difference between a lithium battery and an alkaline

We have just explained what an alkaline battery and a lithium battery are. We will now detail the difference between a lithium battery and an alkaline one.

Rechargeable or not?

The alkaline battery, like the lithium battery, is not rechargeable. These are primary batteries. This means that it offers single-use.


Lithium batteries have a longer life than alkaline batteries. Indeed, they last up to 7 times longer than conventional alkaline. Lithium batteries are perfect for devices that require a long battery life so that they cannot be changed too often. Alkaline batteries are more suitable for everyday devices.

Battery weight

Pound for weight, lithium batteries deliver more power than alkaline batteries and last much longer. Lithium batteries are lighter and more compact than alkaline batteries.

Temperature resistance

The lithium battery is more resistant to extreme temperatures. Indeed, the lithium battery can be used at temperatures ranging from -40 ° C to + 60 ° C. You can therefore use it in very cold/hot weather. The alkaline battery, for its part, cannot be used above -10 °.

Battery price

Alkaline batteries are cheaper than lithium batteries. Lithium being a rarer metal, the price of the lithium battery is, therefore, more expensive than the alkaline battery.