Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Is it ok to Mix an Alkaline Battery with Carbon-Zinc Battery?

Mixing an alkaline battery with a carbon-zinc battery will not improve device performance, In fact, it will reduce performance and may even damage your device or cause battery leakage or rupture. As well. it is not recommended to mix the two. We recommend using the same type of batteries within a device.

Alkaline batteries and carbon-zinc batteries have the same reaction principle from chemical energy to electrical energy. Both manganese dioxide is used as the positive electrode, zinc is used as the negative electrode, and the electrolyte is added. When the positive and negative electrodes are connected, the electrons are between the positive and negative Shuttle between, chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. According to IEC60086-2:2016, in terms of battery size, the size requirements of the two are the same. but the internal structure of the battery is different. For high-power electrical appliances, it is best to use alkaline batteries. For low-power appliances, both alkaline and carbon properties are acceptable. Since the internal structure of alkaline batteries and carbon batteries is different, it is not recommended to mix the two. Please click the link below to see the difference between alkaline batteries and carbon batteries.

So Why Not MIX Alkaline Batteries and Carbon Batteries? We analyze from the following aspects:

1. The Biggest Difference Between the Two Types of Batteries Is the Difference in Structure.

The outer shell of the alkaline battery is a steel shell. The steel shell does not participate in the chemical reaction. It is just a pot for storing the positive and negative electrodes, so it can hold as many positive and negative electrodes as possible. The more materials there are, the higher the capacity and the longer the discharge time.

structure 1

However, for a carbon-zinc battery, the zinc can is used as the outer shell of the battery, and at the same time as the negative electrode material participates in the chemical reaction, which limits the negative electrode material to a certain extent. Because the zinc can not be broken during the chemical reaction, the amount of positive electrode material must be limited, otherwise, the positive and negative materials are not equal, and if the zinc can is completely reacted, the battery will eventually leak.

2. From the Battery Structure, the Alkaline Battery Has a Higher Capacity Than a Carbon-Zinc Battery and Has Longer Discharge Times.

For example, under the condition of continuous discharge from 3.9 ohms to 0.9V, the discharge time of alkaline AA batteries is generally 350 minutes, while that of carbon-zinc AA batteries is only 95 minutes. Two batteries with completely different discharge times are mixed together. For example, when the alkaline AA is discharged for 100 minutes and 250 minutes are left, the carbon battery is dead. If you continue to use it, the zinc can of the carbon battery be worn out. The liquid will leak and eventually corrode electrical appliances.

aa iec
AA Battery IEC

3. Compared With a Carbon-Zinc Battery of the Same Model, an Alkaline Battery Not Only Has a Much Higher Capacity and Time Than a Carbon-Zinc Battery but Also Suitable for High-Power Electrical Appliances.

For example, electric toothbrushes, electric door locks, electric toy cars, if you mix alkaline and carbon zinc batteries together, the electrical appliances may not work or the working time is short. It is not conducive to the full performance of alkaline batteries. For example, the discharge time of an alkaline AAA battery from 1.5V to 1.2V is 35 minutes, while a carbon AAA battery has less than 10 minutes. We know that high-power electrical appliances require high voltage for a long period of time, so if they are mixed together, it will easily cause the electrical appliances to fail to work.

aaa iec
AAA Battery IEC

In addition to not recommending mixing alkaline and carbon batteries, it is also not recommended to mix old and new batteries, because the voltage of the new battery is high, and the voltage of the old battery is low. Mixed-use of the two may sometimes cause the old battery to leak, details please see here.

Therefore, in terms of efficiency and safety, alkaline battery and carbon-zinc battery cannot be mixed. Do not mix alkaline battery and carbon-zinc battery. Sometimes we also call a carbon-zinc battery a heavy-duty battery.

Carl Zhang

Carl Zhang

I am a senior sales with 15 years in the battery industry and a bachelor's degree in economics.
I will be sharing some of my expertise on batteries and my insights into the battery industry in my blog, which should help you with your purchases in China.

Learn More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 + 3 =


Distributor? Importer? Chain-Supermarket? Agent?

Cooperate with Us

Please fill out the form below and we will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the email with the suffix

Ask For A Quick Quote

We will contact you within 2 hrs, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “”


Get Free Microcell Battery E-CATALOG:

  • High Power Alkaline Battery
  • Alkaline Battery
  • Zinc-Carbon Battery
  • Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery
  • Alkaline Zinc-Manganese Button Cell
  • Li-Mn Button Cell