Can alkaline batteries be recharged?

No, normal alkaline batteries can’t be recharged. However, there are rechargeable alkaline batteries, but these have several big disadvantages:

  • Firstly, you will need a special charger which usually is very expensive. Recharging alkaline batteries with a charger, intended for rechargeable nickel-hydride or nickel-cadmium batteries, can be very dangerous (risk of explosion).
  • Secondly, the voltage of an alkaline battery may fall below a critical point, in this situation they can’t be recharged anymore. The problem is that you don’t know when this critical point will occurs. This means you will need to recharge the batteries, which is a disadvantage if you want to use them for a prolonged period of time.
  • Thirdly, the batteries will never gain their full capacity after being recharged. If the battery has been used several times, the available energy quickly becomes less. In practice you can recharge these batteries only a few times. However, the net efficiency of these batteries is very low.

Because of these disadvantages, it is recommended to buy the official rechargeable batteries. The only advantage in using rechargeable alkaline batteries is the higher initial voltage rate. However, this voltage rate drops rapidly to a point even lower that that of an official rechargeable batteries (NiCd/NiMH).

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