Alkaline Batteries

Table of Content

In the duration of the whole investigatory project, there were numerous people who had extended their hand out to the researchers. The researchers would like to thank the following: Almighty God for guiding the researchers and blessing them with knowledge and discernment that had led them to finish the study. Mr. Benjamin Ola, group’s research teacher and adviser for suggesting ideas that further developed the study; giving moral support and guidance. Mr. Alkiem Uriel Roquiem Christien Patron, the class adviser of the researchers and chemistry teacher, for being the person behind the magic of chemistry in the study.

Mr. Henry A. Sabidong, the principal of the researchers’ school, for giving his permission for the researchers to conduct their experiments during school hours in the chemistry lab enthusiastically. We would also like to give credits to Ms. Khim Bautista, Ms. Regine Carlos, Ms. Adrianne Corral, Ms. Cathryn Orosa, Ms. Ara Razalan and Mr. Almond Veras for they have given us the ideas for the investigatory project. Lastly, the parents of the researchers for giving their endless support and financial aid to the researchers throughout the investigatory project.

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Inkjet printers are of the most common use in office productivity today. They are considered as a necessity also in education for students and employees in the office. Inkjet printer inks are commercially available but the prices haven’t been economical. Ingredients for the production of this ink had been unduly expensive. Because of its high cost and continuous increasing demand, there arises the race for the discovery of discovery of a cheaper substitute. In this study, the researchers used Manganese Dioxide (MnO2) found in alkaline batteries as pigments for bring into being the black inkjet friendly ink.

Since used batteries are considered as waste products, it is ideal that it be employed in the production of the ink. This research would determine if the MnO2 would act as an effective ink pigment.


This study was conducted to be able to recycle use and disposed batteries and instead of it being thrown away, be used as an effective ink pigment. Utilizing these used batteries would help reduce waste. The researchers also attempt to yield an ink with more economical prices than the commercially available ones.

By producing ink from pulverized MnO2 from batteries, a better or equal quantity ink is expected to be made. Many people such as students, office workers, teachers and the like that has obscurity with the quality and/or the price of the inkjet ink that they use would greatly benefit from the cost-effective and quality wise product. It would contribute to the fund of knowledge in the field of technology, since and inkjet printer is a product of the emerging high tech age.


  1. Is there a possible component in an alkaline battery that could be used as a pigment in the production of inkjet printer ink?
  2. Does the amount of MnO2 used in the production of ink affect the quality of the ink created?
  3. Is there any significant difference between the qualities of the ink made from MnO2 pigment from the commercial price of the inkjet printer ink?
  4. Would the cost of the ingredients used have a significant difference when compared to the commercial price of the inkjet ink out in the market?
  5. Would the produced ink have a health hazard to the people who would use it?


The researchers began the study around the third week of July 2011 until the last week of August. From this time span, the study must be completed with proof by the end of august 2011.


Ink Fluid or paste of various colours (usually black or dark blue) used for writing and printing, composed of a pigmentor dye in a liquid “vehicle. Early inks used lampblack (a form of carbon) or coloured juices, extracts, or suspensions of plant, animal, and mineral substances. Modern writing inks usually contain ferrous sulfate (seeiron) with a small amount of an acid; on paper, they darken and bond, becoming permanent. Coloured and washable inks usually contain soluble synthetic dyes. Printing inks are formulated for various requirements (including colour, opacity, fade resistance, pliability, odourlessness, drying behaviour, and health and environmental safety) for uses in offset, letterpress, screen, ink-jet, laser, and other printing.

A dispersion of a pigment or a solution of a dye in a carrier vehicle, yielding a fluid, paste, or powder to be applied to and dried on a substrate; writing, marking, drawing, and printing inks are applied by several methods to paper, metal, plastic, wood, glass, fabric, or other substrate. Inks can perform communicative, decorative, and even protective functions. Ink formulas vary, but commonly involve four components: * Colorants * Vehicles (binders) * Additives * Carrier substance Inks generally fall into four classes: * Aqueous * Liquid * Paste * Powder Printer ink

Printer ink is made from a combination of materials. The ink may be created from pigments or dyes, depending on the type. It is mixed with water and glycol, a thick syrupy substance that helps the ink to stick together and mix. For larger businesses, a solvent ink may be used. They are cheaper, but use high vapor steam instead of water to print. This allows them to print on more surfaces, but the printer requires more cleaning. UV-curable inks are inks that dry when exposed to UV rays. They are used to keep ink from spreading and running, but are expensive.

Finally, dye sublimation inks have a special type of dye mixed into the solvent that allows them to print in fabric. Printing inks may be classified according to their characteristic physical properties (such as paste or liquid), the method of application, or other considerations such as the manner of drying. The composition of an ink can be oil-, solvent-, or water-based. The ink may be a high-viscosity paste, a low-viscosity liquid. The most important commercial printing methods that use inks are lithography, flexography, gravure, and letterpress.

The Inks can be applied in four-color (screened) processes, as special spot colors (solid or screened), or as type or line work. The end uses are newspapers, magazines, commercial, folding cartons, books, corrugated boxes, paper bags, wrappers, labels, metal containers, plastic containers, plastic films, foils, food inserts, sanitary papers, and textiles. The various drying manners are oxidizing, evaporating, penetrating, precipitating, polymerizing, reactive, including radiation cured, gelling, cold setting or quick setting and thermosetting. Some 900,000 ink formulations exist to meet the various needs and conditions. Alkaline batteries

Alkaline batteries are a type of primary battery or rechargeable battery dependent upon the reaction between zinc and manganese dioxide (Zn/MnO2). Compared with zinc-carbon batteries of the Leclanche or zinc chloride types, alkaline batteries have a higher energy density and longer shelf-life, with the same voltage. Button cell silver-oxide batterieshave higher energy density and capacity but also higher cost than similar-size alkaline cells. The alkaline battery gets its name because it has an alkaline electrolyte of potassium hydroxide, instead of the acidic ammonium chloride or zinc chloride electrolyte of the zinc-carbon batteries.

Other battery systems also use alkaline electrolytes, but they use different active materials for the electrodes. Alkaline batteries account for 80% of manufactured batteries in the US and over 10 billion individual units produced worldwide. In Japan alkaline batteries account for 46% of all primary battery sales. In Switzerland alkaline batteries account for 68%, in the UK 60% and in the EU 47% of all battery sales including secondary types When introduced in the 1960s, alkaline batteries contained a small amount of mercury amalgam to control side reactions at the zinc cathode.

Improvements in the purity and consistency of materials have allowed manufacturers to reduce the mercury content in modern cells. Unlike other types of batteries, alkaline batteries are allowed to be disposed of as regular domestic waste in some locations. This, however, may not be environmentally friendly, as some alkaline batteries produced before 1996 contain mercury. For example the state of California has deemed all batteries as hazardous waste when discarded, and has banned the disposal of batteries with other domestic waste.

 In the US, one company shreds and separates the battery case metals, manganese and zinc. Another company mixes batteries in as a feedstock in steel making furnaces, to make low-grade steel such as rebar; the zinc fumes are recovered separately. In Europe battery disposal is controlled by the WEEE regulations, and as such alkaline batteries must not be thrown in with domestic waste. They should be disposed through local recycling stations/waste dumps. In the EU most stores that sell batteries are required by law to accept old batteries for recycling. Hazards of Manganese Dioxide

Manganese Dioxide can slightly stain human skin if it is damp or in a heterogeneous mixture, but the stains can be washed off quite easily with some rubbing. Common uses of glycerine Glycerine is a chemical compound that is also known as glycerol. Glycerine is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. Glycerine can be dissolved into water or alcohol but not oils. But, there are many substances which will dissolve into glycerine then they will dissolve into water or alcohol. So it can be said that glycerine is a good solvent.

A very interesting property of glycerine is that it is very highly hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs water from the air. For example, if you leave a bottle of glycerine exposed to air, it would eventually become 80% glycerine and 20% water. Glycerol or glycerine is one of the most widely used ingredients in drugs and pharmaceuticals. Apart from drugs, there are other uses of glycerine as well.


  • Alkaline batteries – along lived dry cell with an alkaline electrolyte that decreases corrosion of the cell.
  • Glycerol (C3H5(0H)3) – an organic compound, also called glycerin or glycerine. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations.
  • Coconut Oil – extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm.


The alkaline batteries used were Eveready Heavy Duty AA batteries. Epson Stylus was the printer that was used to test the produced inks. Black mix was obtained by opening the protective housing of alkaline batteries and exposing its black mix. Then, the black mix was removed and ground onto very fine particles using a mortar and pestle. Afterwards, it was filtered through a fine screen to obtain finest consistency. In the preparation of the ink, the researchers prepared a mixture. Ink A, contained black mix of alkaline batteries, glycerol and coconut oil.

In the ration 2g: 14ml: 2ml respectively. The solution was thoroughly mixed using a stirring rod until totally dispersed. The mixtures were heated for 5 minutes under medium heat and were allowed to cool own before evaluation. Another ink was produced but with a different component proportion of 7g: 19ml: 7ml (pigment: glycerol: coconut oil) for comparison purposes. We labelled it as Ink B. The researchers acquired the Epson stylus printer with original ink and printed a monochrome test page for comparison in the latter. The researchers obtained n empty cartridge for the Epson stylus printer.

They first made sure that the cartridge was empty by drawing out the excess ink inside using a syringe. The produced black ink was put into another syringe. The black ink was injected to the cartridge and printed on another paper. The two pages were compared. Collection of drained batteries, coconut oil, glycerol and other materials.

Results and Discussions

The aim of this study is to prove that black mix could be used as pigment for the production of inkjet printer ink. Following the steps in chapter 2, the researchers were able to come up with the following data: Extraction of black mix from alkaline batteries Six Eveready heavy duty AA batteries were used to be able to extract about 8 grams of black mix. Using hammer and a screwdriver, the outer covering was first removed and then the black mix was exposed and then harvested. Mixture of the pigment, vehicle and binder The black mix that was harvested was mixed with glycerol and coconut oil. It acted as a vehicle and binder, respectively.

Compared to inkjet ink sold commercially, this ink was mixed with coconut oil and glycerol instead of water. This is due to the insolubility property of manganese dioxide in water. Ink B issue Looking back at chapter 2, another ink with varying proportion was produced and was labeled as ink B. It was due to the suggestion that the amount of pigment be amplified in the mixture. Unfortunately, the researchers had observed that there are a lot coarse particles present in the mixture that could be the reason for obstruction in the minute nozzle of the cartridge. The researchers still gave it a try but they were right.

A test page was printed and the quality wasn’t well so they had to disregard Ink B Comparison of Ink a and Commercially Sold ink Commercially available ink is the norm of inkjet printer inks today so it’s just righteous that it be compared to the produced ink.

Under normal conditions of use, the battery is hermetically sealed.

  • Ingestion: swallowing a battery can be harmful. Contents of an open battery can cause serious chemical burns of mouth, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Inhalation: contents of an open battery can cause respiratory irritation.
  • Skin contact: contents of an open battery can cause skin irritation and/or chemical burns.
  • Eye contact: contents of an open battery can cause severe irritation and chemical burns. reminds that the people who are going to extract the black mix inside could need to follow enough safety precautions according to section.
  • Ventilation requirements: room ventilation may be required in areas where there are open or leaking batteries.
  • Eye protection: wear safety glasses with side shields if handling an open or leaking battery.
  • Gloves: use neoprene or natural rubber gloves if handling an open or leaking battery.

Conclusions and Recommendations

To conclude, therefore, hence, thus, accordingly, black mix is a feasible pigment for manufacturing inkjet ink. The aspired product was obtained after mixing it with glycerol and coconut oil. With further research and improvisation on the experimented ink, the researchers think that there would be a high chance that this could compete against commercially sold ones, considering its cost advantage.

The researchers recommend this experiment to those who plan to recycle and use black mix from used batteries, but making sure they observe safety precautions to avoid hazards when handling the chemicals hermetically sealed in the battery.


  1. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Alkaline_battery
  2. http://batteryuniversity. com/learn/article/will_the_reusable_alkaline_battery_have_a_future
  3. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Glycerol http://www. webmd. com
  4. http://www. madehow. com/Volume-1/Battery. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/inkjet_printer

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Alkaline Batteries. (2016, Dec 24). Retrieved from

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