Leclanche Dry Cell

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.

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