What Are the Main Raw Materials of Lead-acid Batteries?

Lead-acid batteries are composed of several key raw materials, each serving a specific function in the battery’s construction and operation.

  1. Lead: The primary component of the battery’s electrodes. Lead is used in both the positive and negative plates of the battery. Lead is chosen for its high density, low cost, and ability to form stable compounds with sulfuric acid during the charging and discharging processes.
  2. Lead Oxide: Lead oxide is used to form the active material on the battery plates. It is created by oxidizing lead in a controlled manner, resulting in a mixture of lead oxide and lead sulfate. The lead oxide is then applied to the plates and converted to lead sulfate during the battery’s discharge cycle.
  3. Sulfuric Acid: Sulfuric acid is the electrolyte used in lead-acid batteries. It is a highly corrosive and toxic substance that is diluted with water to form the electrolyte solution. Sulfuric acid facilitates the chemical reactions that occur during the battery’s charging and discharging cycles.
  4. Plastic: Plastic is used to form the battery’s casing, which houses the internal components. The casing is typically made of a durable, acid-resistant material such as polypropylene.
  5. Polyethylene Separators: Polyethylene separators are used to prevent the positive and negative plates from coming into direct contact with each other. These separators allow the electrolyte to flow freely between the plates while preventing short circuits.
  6. Lead Alloy: Lead alloys are used to improve the mechanical properties of the battery plates. Common alloying elements include antimony, calcium, and tin. These alloys help to increase the battery’s resistance to vibration and improve its overall durability.
  7. Copper: Copper is used to connect the battery’s internal components, such as the plates and terminals. Copper is chosen for its high electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion.
  8. Terminal Posts: Terminal posts are used to connect the battery to external electrical circuits. They are typically made of lead or lead alloy and are designed to withstand the high currents generated during the battery’s charging and discharging cycles.
  9. Electrolyte Additives: Various additives may be added to the electrolyte solution to improve the battery’s performance and longevity. These additives can include substances such as bismuth, selenium, and arsenic.
  10. Glass Mat (AGM Batteries): In Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries, a fiberglass mat is used to absorb and hold the electrolyte solution. This design helps to reduce the risk of acid spills and allows the battery to be mounted in any orientation.
  11. Gel (Gel Batteries): In Gel batteries, the electrolyte is mixed with a silica gel to form a thick paste. This gel-like electrolyte is immobilized within the battery, reducing the risk of acid spills and allowing the battery to be mounted in any orientation.

Overall, lead-acid batteries are composed of a combination of lead, lead oxides, sulfuric acid, and various other materials that work together to create a reliable and cost-effective energy storage solution.


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