The Leclanche dry cell, or zinc-carbon dry cell, is a voltaic cell with a zinc can as the anode and a graphite rod in the centre surrounded by a paste of manganese dioxide, ammonium and zinc chlorides, and carbon black, as the cathode.
Variants of leclanche dry cell include:
- Zinc carbon (Carbon cathode)
- Zinc chloride (Ammonium chloride electrolyte replaced by zinc chloride)
- Alkaline manganese ( Ammonium chloride electrode replaced by potassium hydroxide)
The electrode reactions are as follows
Anode: Zn (s) → Zn2+ (aq) + 2e–
Cathode: 2NH4+ (aq) + 2MnO2 (s) + 2e– → Mn2O3 (s) + H2O (I) + 2NH3 (aq)
Applications of Leclanche dry cell: low cost applications, toys, remote controls, flashlights, clocks etc.