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What are some interesting facts about batteries?

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One interesting fact about batteries is that they typically contain large quantities of mercury. Another interesting fact is that Alessandro Volta created the first battery in 1798 although creation of ancient devices very similar to batteries occurred more than 2000 years ago. The first rechargeable battery was created in 1859 using lead acid cells, a technique still used to create automotive batteries.

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Batteries function using a chemical reaction that causes electrons to flow from the negative to positive battery terminals. Batteries lose charge once their internal chemicals have reacted, although some types of batteries can be recharged. The recharging process reverses the chemical reaction that originally depleted the battery. These batteries may become less effective over time or after repeated charging. The energy needed to manufacture rechargeable batteries is fifty times greater than single-use batteries.

Rechargeable batteries lose a percentage of their charge when left on the charger for too long. These batteries can also loose their ability to charge when left in a discharged state for long periods of time. There are no real manufacturing or industry standards for batteries, and many terms are commonly used that may have no real bearing on performance. Batteries used to power tools or mobile phones typically contain enough nickel and cadmium to pollute as much as 600,000 liters of water.

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