Batteries - Secondary Batteries



  • Lead storage battery (Lead accumulators)
  • Nickel-cadmium (NICAD) cells
If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below. | Electrochemistry part 33 (Secondary Battery :- Lead, Nickel Cadmiuml)

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Electrochemistry part 33 (Secondary Battery :- Lead, Nickel Cadmiuml) [00:07:25]
Series: Secondary Batteries

Related QuestionsVIEW ALL [3]

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

The lead-acid battery represents the oldest rechargeable battery technology. Lead acid batteries can be found in a wide variety of applications including small-scale power storage such as UPS systems, ignition power sources for automobiles, along with large, grid-scale power systems. The spongy lead act as the anode and lead dioxide as the cathode. Aqueous sulphuric acid is used as an electrolyte. The half-reactions during discharging of lead storage cells are:

Anode: \[\ce{Pb(s) + SO^{2-}_4 (aq) -> PbSO4 (s) + 2e-}\]

Cathode: \[\ce{PbO (s) + 4H+ (aq) + SO^{2-}_4 (aq) + 2e- -> PbSO(s) + 2 H2O}\]

There is no safe way of disposal and these batteries end - up in landfills. Lead and sulphuric acid are extremely hazardous and pollute soil, water as well as air. Irrespective of the environmental challenges it poses, lead-acid batteries have remained an important source of energy.

Designing green and sustainable battery systems as alternatives to conventional means remains relevant. Fuel cells are seen as the future source of energy. Hydrogen is considered a green fuel. Problem with fuel cells at present is the storage of hydrogen. Currently, ammonia and methanol are being used as a source of hydrogen for fuel cell. These are obtained industrially, so add to the environmental issues.

If the problem of storage of hydrogen is overcome, is it still a “green fuel?” Despite being the most abundant element in the Universe, hydrogen does not exist on its own so needs to be extracted from the water using electrolysis or separated from carbon fossil fuels. Both of these processes require a significant amount of energy which is currently more than that gained from the hydrogen itself. In addition, this extraction typically requires the use of fossil fuels. More research is being conducted in this field to solve these problems. Despite the problem of no good means to extract Hydrogen, it is a uniquely abundant and renewable source of energy, perfect for our future zero-carbon needs.

Answer the following questions:

  1. How many coulombs have been transferred from anode to cathode in order to consume one mole of sulphuric acid during the discharging of lead storage cell?
  2. How much work can be extracted by using lead storage cell if each cell delivers about 2.0 V of voltage? (1 F = 96500 C)
  3. Do you agree with the statement – “Hydrogen is a green fuel.” Give your comments for and against this statement and justify your views.


Imagine you are a member of an agency funding scientific research. Which of the following projects will you fund and why?

  1. safe recycling of lead batteries
  2. extraction of hydrogen

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