Energy Density Optimization in a Primary Alkaline Battery using Multiphysics Modeling
Castro, Michael T.
Del Rosario, Julie Anne D.
Ocon, Joey D.

How to Cite

Castro M.T., Del Rosario J.A.D., Ocon J.D., 2022, Energy Density Optimization in a Primary Alkaline Battery using Multiphysics Modeling, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 94, 301-306.


Primary alkaline batteries have been widely used in portable electronics due to their low cost and safety. The consumption and disposal of these batteries has prompted notable research on their recycling. Another approach to reducing alkaline battery disposal is to extend their lifetime by increasing their energy density. In this work, the energy density of an AA primary alkaline battery was maximized by determining the optimum amount of electrode materials through multiphysics modeling. An electrochemical model of the alkaline battery is developed in COMSOL Multiphysics® and validated with discharge curves (i.e., voltage vs. time) obtained under constant resistance loads. The electrode thicknesses are then optimized to maximize the energy density of the battery while maintaining its exterior dimensions. The sensitivity of the energy density with respect to the electrode porosities and interfacial areas is then analyzed. The electrochemical model was able to replicate the discharge curves obtained under a 250 mA constant current discharge. The energy density is maximized by decreasing the thickness of the zinc anode. However, this results in anode dissolution near the current collectors and could compromise the electrical continuity in the battery. Increasing the anode thickness prevents dissolution at the current collectors but increases unused mass in the battery. The results of this study can be used to develop longer-lasting alkaline batteries. Furthermore, the model can be improved by considering thermal effects or modified to aid the development of rechargeable alkaline batteries.