Which Batteries Last Longest?

3.9 based on 15 ratings

Updated on Sep 07, 2012

Grade Level: 7th - 8th; Type: Physical Science


In this experiment, students will discover which battery composition lasts the longest.

Research Questions:

  • How does a battery work?
  • What are rechargeable batteries?

Batteries make our lives portable. In other words, we can take things such as mp3 players, cell phones, digital cameras, and game consoles around to anywhere in the world. There are many kinds of batteries that are made of many chemicals. These chemicals each react differently to electricity, and some last longer than others


  • Carbon Zinc Batteries (such as Eveready)
  • Zinc Chloride Batteries (Panasonic makes some)
  • Alkaline Batteries (Duracell)
  • Lithium Manganese Batteries (such as Sony)
  • Nickel Cadmium Batteries (these are labeled rechargeable, but for this experiment, they will not be recharged)
  • Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries (such as Energizer, will not be recharged for this experiment)
  • Lithium Ion batteries (such as Panasonic, will not be recharged)
  • A device that drains a lot of power in a relatively short time (such as a digital camera)
  • Timer
  • Pen/paper for notes

Experimental Procedure

  1. Take your first battery type and put it inside your chosen device. Turn the device on and leave it on consecutively until the batteries “die”. This time should vary and you should time the duration.
  2. If you are not present when the batteries “die”, you should set up a camera and leave it on to monitor the exact time it does “die”.
  3. Do the same for all your batteries and compare how long it lasts.

Suggested Chart



Carbon Zinc Batteries

Zinc Chloride Batteries

Alkaline Batteries

Lithium Manganese Batteries

Nickel Cadmium Batteries

Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

Lithium Ion batteries

Terms/Concepts: Batteries; Electricity


Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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