Duracell batteries, like many other types of alkaline and zinc-carbon cells, contain three major components: an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte. The anode is a mixture of powdered zinc and potassium hydroxide, the latter of which acts as the electrolyte to facilitate energy transfer.
The cathode, a carbon and manganese dioxide mixture, is a sleeve that surrounds the anode core, separated by a thin layer. Power is generated from the chemical reaction of the anode and electrolyte, transferred along the negative terminal of the cell by means of a brass spike inserted into the core. The cathode attached to the negative terminal then pushes this current out through the positive terminal at the top of the battery.