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The Kid Should See This

Why do batteries die?

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“Almost all batteries, even single-use batteries, are theoretically rechargeable. That’s because the metals and other chemicals are still there in the battery. So chemically speaking, a dead battery is actually not that different from a fresh one. Then why do batteries die in the first place? And what should you do with them once they’re spent?”

Batteries turn stored chemical energy into electricity. But what’s happening when they get more inefficient? This TED-Ed by George Zaidan, directed by Luisa Holanda, summarizes the science of these chemical reactions, their reversible nature, and the potential for innovation.

rechargeable car battery
Plus, from TED-Ed’s Dig Deeper:

“From mobile phones to electric cars, batteries are the key to some of the most significant advances in the 21st century. But there’s one problem: we’re getting to the limits of what they can do. The next generation of batteries will play a vital role in enabling the green energy transition. To make decarbonization a reality, batteries need to get better and be recycled at much higher rates. Batteries need to be cheaper and less harmful to the environment, and the resources to make batteries need to be procured thoughtfully and humanely.”

the chemistry of a battery
Watch these videos about batteries to learn more:
• How do batteries work?
• Is the humble battery the key to our low-carbon future?
• Take Charge: RSC’s Global Battery Experiment
• Here’s where the juice that powers batteries comes from
• Why are electric cars the future?

Bonus activity: How to make a lemon battery.

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