Battery Amp Hour Capacity Calculator. 4 d batteries required

Battery Amp Hour Capacity Calculator

Use our battery capacity calculator to easily convert your battery’s capacity from watt hours to amp hours (Wh to Ah), or amp hours to watt hours (Ah to Wh).

Battery Capacity Calculator

How to Use This Calculator

Enter your battery’s capacity and select its unit from the list. The unit options are milliamp hours (mAh), amp hours (Ah), watt hours (Wh), and kilowatt hours (kWh). For instance, if you have a 1200Wh battery, you’d enter the number 1200 and then select “Wh” from the list of unit options.

Enter your battery’s voltage. If you have a 12V battery, you’d enter the number 12.

Optional: Select your battery type from the list. If you select a battery type, we’ll estimate your battery’s usable capacity. For some battery types, such as lead acid batteries, you can’t use their full capacity without damaging them and shortening their lifespan.

Enter the number of batteries you have in your battery bank. If you’re calculating the capacity of 1 battery, you’d just enter the number 1. If you enter 2 or more, a field will appear asking how your batteries are wired together.

If you have multiple batteries in your battery bank, select how they’re wired together. The wiring options are series, parallel, and series-parallel. The series-parallel option is only available if you’ve entered a number of 4 or greater in the Quantity field. If you’ve selected the series-parallel option, a field will appear asking for the length of your series strings.

If your batteries are wired in a series-parallel configuration, enter the number of batteries wired together in each series string. For instance, if each of your series strings has 4 batteries in it, you’d enter the number 4. We’ll use this number to calculate the length of your parallel strings.

Click “Calculate Battery Capacity” to get your results. If you’ve entered your battery capacity in watt hours, we’ll calculate your battery’s amp hours. And if you’ve entered your battery capacity in amp hours, we’ll calculate your battery’s watt hours. For battery banks with multiple batteries wired together, we’ll also calculate your battery bank’s voltage.

How to Calculate Battery Amp Hours

To calculate a battery’s amp hours, divide its watt hours by its voltage.

Formula: battery amp hours = battery watt hours ÷ battery voltage

Abbreviated: Ah = Wh ÷ V

Small batteries — such as those found in phones, tablets, and battery packs — more commonly express their battery capacity in milliamp hours. To calculate a battery’s milliamp hours, divide its watt hours by its voltage and then multiply by 1,000.

Formula: battery milliamp hours = battery watt hours ÷ battery voltage × 1,000

Abbreviated: mAh = Wh ÷ V × 1,000


Let’s say you have the following LiFePO4 battery.

You look at the battery specs and see that it has a voltage of 12.8 volts and a capacity of 1280 watt hours. Here’s how to calculate its amp hours:

In this example, your battery has a capacity of 100 amp hours. Put another way, it’s a 100Ah battery.

How to Calculate Battery Watt Hours

To calculate a battery’s watt hours, multiply its amp hours by its voltage.

Formula: battery watt hours = battery amp hours × battery voltage

Abbreviated formula: Wh = Ah × V

If your battery’s capacity is given in milliamp hours, multiply its milliamp hours by its voltage and then divide by 1,000.

Formula: battery watt hours = battery milliamp hours × battery voltage ÷ 1,000

Abbreviated formula: Wh = mAh × V ÷ 1,000

Example: 1 Battery

Let’s say you have a 12V 50Ah car battery.

To calculate its watt hours, you multiple its amp hours by its voltage:

Your car battery has a capacity of 600 watt hours.

Example: 2 Batteries Wired in Series

In certain cases – such as building an off-grid solar power system – you may need to wire multiple batteries together to build a battery bank. Batteries can be wired in series, parallel, or series-parallel.

Wiring batteries in series sums their voltages but keeps their amp hours the same.

For example, let’s say you wire two 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 batteries in series. Doing so sums their voltage for a total of 24 volts (12V 12V = 24V), but keeps their amp hours the same at 100Ah.

The result is a 24V 100Ah battery bank. To calculate its watt hours, you multiply amp hours by volts.

Turns out your battery bank was a capacity of 2400 watt hours.

There is an alternative way to arrive at this number. You could instead calculate the watt hours of one of your batteries, and then multiply that value by the number of batteries you’re wiring together.

You know that each battery is a 12V 100Ah battery. So you can first calculate its watt hours.

Then you just need to multiply the watt hours of the one battery by the number of batteries you’re connecting together — 2, in this example.

Using this approach, we arrive at the same value: 2400 watt hours. Use whichever method you prefer.

Note: The second method assumes that your batteries are identical. I strongly recommend that you only wire identical batteries together. By identical I mean the batteries should have the same age, voltage, and amp hours. They should be the same battery type and from the same brand.

Example: 2 Batteries Wired in Parallel

Let’s instead say that you wired your two 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 batteries in parallel. Wiring batteries in parallel sums their amp hours and keeps their voltages the same.

So, for this example, summing the amp hours gets us 200 amp hours (100Ah 100Ah = 200Ah) and the voltages remain the same at 12 volts.

The result is a 12V 200Ah battery bank. You calculate its watt hours using the same formula:

In this example, your battery bank once again has a capacity of 2400 watt hours.

Notice that the battery bank has the same number of watt hours regardless of whether you wire the batteries in series or parallel. The way you wire batteries together affects their voltage and amp hours, but the resulting battery banks will always have the same number of watt hours.

battery, hour, capacity, calculator, batteries, required

How Many Battery Amp Hours Do I Need?

To get a very rough estimate of how many amp hours your battery needs to have, you need to know:

  • Device current draw in amps (A): How many amps does the device you’re powering use? You can usually find this number listed on the device’s label or power cord. If power consumption is listed in watts, convert watts to amps.
  • Desired runtime in hours: How many hours do you want to run your device for?
  • What is your battery’s recommended depth of discharge? Some brands will list a recommended depth of discharge (DoD) in the product manual. If yours doesn’t have one, use the following rules of thumb: lead acid batteries can be safely discharged to 50%, while lithium and nickel-based rechargeable batteries can often be safely discharged to 100%.

Once you have the above info, multiply the device’s current draw in amps by your desired runtime in hours. Divide all that by the recommended depth of discharge.

Formula: battery amp hours = device current draw in amps × desired runtime in hours ÷ depth of discharge

Abbreviated: Ah = A × hrs ÷ DoD

However, batteries don’t discharge with 100% efficiency. The number of amp hours you’ll actually get from your battery depends on how fast the battery is being discharged, something called C-rate. Rechargeable batteries also lose capacity as they age.

So you should treat the results you get from this calculation as the minimum number of amp hours you could possibly get away with. For most situations, I’d recommend oversizing your battery by at least 25%.


Let’s say you want to buy a 12V lithium battery to power some 12V LED lights. According to the product label on the LED lights, they use 2 amps. You want to run them for up to 5 hours at a time.

The brand of lithium battery you’re looking at has a recommended depth of discharge of 80-100%. You decide to be conservative and size your battery based on an 80% depth of discharge.

To estimate how many amp hours your battery needs to have, you plug everything in to the above formula.

2A × 5 hrs ÷ 80% = 10Ah ÷ 80% = 12.5Ah

The smallest battery size you could consider is a 12.5Ah battery. However, you know that it’s always a good idea to oversize your battery to account for inefficiencies during discharging and reduction in capacity over time due to battery age. So you decide to oversize your battery by 25%.

12.5Ah (12.5Ah × 25%) = 12.5Ah 3.125Ah = 15.625Ah

Based on your calculations, you decide to get 12V lithium battery with a 16 amp hour capacity.

battery, hour, capacity, calculator, batteries, required

D Cell Battery | A Comprehensive Guide To D Batteries

In a previous guide on batteries, we compared AA vs AAA batteries, the two common and popular types of batteries for remote controls, wireless mice and keyboards, wall clocks, etc. But there is another type of battery that is much older and popular, especially for flashlights. They are D Batteries, also known as D Cells. These are batteries are so popular that we often called them simply flashlight batteries. As a part of our batteries guides and know-how, let us explore everything you need to know about D Cell Battery in this guide.

Here, we will talk about the basics of D Battery, along with its important parameters and specifications. We will also take a look at the typical set of applications of D Cells or Batteries. We will also explore different types of D Batteries i.e., different chemistries, primary (non-rechargeable), and secondary (rechargeable).

What is a D Cell Battery?

If you fall into the millennial, Gen-X, or boomer demographic, then chances are you are familiar with D Batteries as flashlight batteries. This is because we used them extensively to power those long flashlights that took two (or sometimes three) of these batteries.

But what exactly is a D Battery? A D Battery is a type of cylindrical battery, where the ‘D’ indicates the physical size of the battery similar to AA or AAA (if you remember, AA and AAA also represent the size of the batteries). A D Battery is a slightly longer and wider version of an AA or AAA battery.

Another similarity between a D Battery and AA or AAA batteries is they all have only one cell, which is the main electrochemical unit. Hence, we often call the D Battery the D Cell.

While The American Ever Ready Company introduced AA and AAA batteries in 1907 and 1911 respectively, the National Carbon Company introduced the D Battery (or D Cell) much earlier in 1898. Even after the introduction of more minor AA and AAA batteries, D Cells were very popular for a long time, especially for flashlights. Even the U.S Military used these batteries in radio transceivers during World War II. We will give more details about the D Cell Battery in the next section.

Specifications Of D Cell Batteries

In the previous section, we mentioned that the D Battery is a bigger version of the AA battery. But what is the actual size of a D battery? What are the other important specifications of a typical D Cell? Let us explore more about these aspects of a D Cell Battery.


The first and most important specification of a D Battery is its physical size. If you take the height or length of a D Battery, the minimum height is 59.5 mm while the maximum height is 61.5 mm. Coming to the diameter of the D Battery Cylinder must be a minimum of 32.2 mm and a maximum of 34.2 mm.

Apart from these two dimensions, we also have dimensions of the positive and negative terminals. We know that the positive terminal in most cylindrical batteries has a protrusion. This is also the case with a D Battery. The height of the positive terminal must be at least 1.5 mm while the diameter of the positive terminal must be less than or equal to 9.5 mm.

Next, we have the negative terminal. In addition to the flat negative terminal, as we find in AA and AAA batteries, some D Batteries also come with recessed negative terminals. Irrespective of the type of the negative terminal, its diameter must be at least 18 mm. The data sheet of the battery or manufacturer’s description will specify the negative terminal contact i.e., flat or recessed.


Despite the large size of a D Battery when compared to AA and AAA batteries, the typical voltage of a D Battery is still 1.5V. Of course, this voltage is only for non-rechargeable primary type D Batteries.

Does this mean we get rechargeable secondary D Batteries? The answer is yes, we do. Again, the similarity between rechargeable D Batteries and rechargeable AA or AAA batteries continues.

The typical voltage of a rechargeable D Battery is around 1.2V. We will see more details on rechargeable and non-rechargeable D Cell Batteries in a later section.


The advantage of a large-size cell such as a D Cell is it can have ridiculously large energy ratings. If you remember, an alkaline AA battery can have a maximum capacity of around 3,000 mAh.

Coming to a D Battery with similar chemical composition i.e., an Alkaline type battery, you can get them in capacities as high as 20,000 mAh. You read it right.

Even regular Zinc Carbon type D Batteries have a huge 8,000 mAh capacity. In contrast, AA batteries of similar type max out at 1,700 to 1,800 mAh.


Continuing the large-size aspect of the D Cell Battery, its typical weight is around 140 grams. If you compare this with an AA Battery, its typical weight is only 23 grams.

These weight numbers that we mentioned are for Alkaline type batteries (both D Battery and AA Battery). Depending on the chemical composition of the batteries, their weights can be slightly more or less than these numbers. But you get the idea of the weight of a D Battery compared to an AA Battery.

Applications Of D Batteries

The most common and popular application of D Cells is flashlights. Apart from lighting applications, D Batteries are also popular in high-power consumption devices such as radios, portable stereos, toys, etc.


The runtime of a D Battery depends on the application, its current draw, and how long you use it. We can take some standard numbers and make an estimate of the runtimes for some common applications of D Cell Batteries.

For this explanation, we will consider a brand-new Alkaline type D Cell with 1.5V and a typical capacity of 18,000 mAh. Low-intensity lighting system (a flashlight with low-intensity mode) has a current draw of 650 mA.

If you take this application, then you can run the light with a D Cell continuously for 27 hours. But if you switch to high-intensity mode, where the current draw increases to 1,000 mA, you can expect the battery to last for almost 18 hours.

Another popular application of a D Battery is a portable stereo. As an example, let us assume that it draws about 600 mA of current and you intend to use the stereo for approximately 2 hours a day.

If this is the case, then you can expect the battery to last for 12 to 15 days.

Types of D Cells

In the previous section, we covered briefly about types of D Batteries. But in this section, we will explore all the common and popular types of D Cell Batteries you can get.

Similar to AA and AAA, you can get D Batteries as both Primary i.e., non-rechargeable and Secondary i.e., rechargeable types.

Before moving further, we would like to mention that non-rechargeable type D Cells are way more common than their rechargeable counterparts.

Non-Rechargeable D Cells

Let us begin the discussion with Primary type D Batteries. The most common type of D Cell is a Zinc Carbon cell. It consists of Zinc metal as an anode and a mixture of Manganese Dioxide and graphite (carbon) in the form of paste as the cathode.

The addition of carbon powder improves the conductivity in the cell. These batteries use Ammonium Chloride (NH4Cl) as an electrolyte.

Another popular type of D Battery is the Alkaline type D Cell. While the composition of electrodes is the same as the Zinc Carbon Cell i.e., Zinc metal as anode and Manganese Dioxide as cathode, the difference is in the electrolyte.

Alkaline cells use Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) as the electrolyte. The advantage of alkaline cells over regular cells is they are available in much larger capacities and also, they can deliver much higher currents without heating.

As both these batteries are non-rechargeable, their voltages are 1.5V. Also, the capacities of these batteries are very high. You can get a Zinc Carbon type D Cell with capacities of up to 8,000 mAh.

Coming to the Alkaline type, you can get them with capacities anywhere between 12,000 to 18,000 mAh.

Rechargeable D Cells

While rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are very common, it is not the case with D Cells. Yes, you can get rechargeable D Batteries but they are not hugely popular or common.

The two common types of rechargeable D Cell Batteries are Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). Yes, this is exactly the same chemical composition as the rechargeable AA and AAA batteries.

Remember, the terms AA, AAA, and D refer only to the size of the batteries and have nothing to do with the chemistry, capacity, or any other parameters.

Coming back to the rechargeable type D Cells, both Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries use Nickel Oxide Hydroxide as the cathode. But the anodes are different. It is Cadmium metal in Nickel Cadmium batteries while is a metallic alloy in the case of Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.

Both these batteries use Potassium Hydroxide as an electrolyte. Also, the voltage of these batteries is around 1.25V.

As they are rechargeable batteries, their capacities are slightly less than their non-rechargeable counterparts. For instance, you can get a Nickel Cadmium D Battery with capacities in the range of 2,000 to 5,500 mAh.

In the case of the Nickel Metal Hydride type, the capacities are slightly large in the range of 2,500 to 12,000 mAh.

Comparison Of Types Of D Cell Batteries

The following table shows all the important parameters and specifications of the four common types of D Cell Batteries (two from non-rechargeable and two from rechargeable).

Batteries Chemical Composition Dimensions ICE Nomenclature ANSI Nomenclature Electrode Electrolyte Voltage Capacity
Primary (Non-Rechargeable) Zinc Carbon Height (Length) – 59.5 mm (min) and 61.5 mm (max)

Cathode – Manganese Dioxide

Cathode – Manganese Dioxide

Cathode – Nickel Oxide Hydroxide

Cathode – Nickel Oxide Hydroxide


While lithium-ion-type batteries are trying to dominate every application, be it large or small, there are some older types of batteries that are still popular. If you take AA and AAA-type batteries, we often use them in remote controls, wall clocks, wireless computer peripherals, etc.

Another oldie but Goldie is the D Cell Battery, which is famous as the Flashlight Battery. Apart from flashlights, we also use D Batteries in toys, radios, stereos (portable ones), etc.

In this guide, we saw all the essential things about a D Battery or D Cell. We saw its basics, important parameters, and specifications such as physical dimensions, typical capacities, voltage rating, etc.

After that, we looked at different types of D Cells i.e., Primary or Non-Rechargeable and Secondary or Rechargeable. We also saw a simple comparison of the different parameters of all four common and popular types of D Cell Batteries.

We hope that this guide on D Cell Battery could help you understand everything about the D Battery. If you feel we missed something or want us to add anything, do let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section. It will not only help us but other readers as well.

USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kit

[HURRY] Get 60% Off for a Limited Time. Powerful, Rechargeable D Battery Power… Your 4Patriots USB-Rechargeable Batteries work anywhere you’d use “regular” D Batteries. And they pay for themselves hundreds of times over.

  • Get 60% off for a limited time only!
  • Rechargeable up to 500 times
  • Fast charge in as little as 5 hours
  • Holds a charge for 12 months
  • Kit includes 2 D batteries 1 USB dock
  • Ships from Utah, USA
  • FREE digital blackout report
  • FREE Shipping for orders of 97 (USA 48)

Here’s What You Get With Your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kit

Never Buy Traditional D Batteries Again!

Your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kit is in it for the long haul. Drain them down and charge them again… up to 500 times! And you can use your USB-Rechargeable Battery Kits to power multiple devices like.

  • Radios
  • Clocks
  • Flashlights
  • Toys
  • TV remotes
  • Digital Cameras
  • Electric razors
  • Handheld games
  • Wireless mouse

And much more! Click “Add to Cart” to start your order now.

24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

Battery performance varies based on charging and usage conditions. For more information, see footnote 2.

“You WILL Want These In An Emergency”

Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

Just Think of all the Places You’ll Use These Rechargeable Batteries

You can use your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Pack to power multiple devices. So be sure to keep these handy batteries in cars, at home, at the cabin, or in your RV. Anywhere you might need an extra oomph of portable backup power like.

  • At home
  • Power outages
  • In emergencies
  • Camping
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Road Trips
  • RVing

And much more! These batteries could truly make a difference for you and your family in a crisis. Click “Add to Cart” to start your order now.

battery, hour, capacity, calculator, batteries, required

24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

Battery performance varies based on charging and usage conditions. For more information, see footnote 2.

“Fast Recharge” with Any USB

Your batteries can be charged using the included micro USB cord. So you can recharge these batteries anywhere, anytime with just a USB outlet.

Battery charge times vary based on individual battery capacity. For more information, see footnote 2.

500x the Power of a Traditional Battery!

These rechargeable battery collections will pay for themselves thousands of times over. You’ll save a ton of money. because you can drain them down and recharge them… 500 times!

Your Best Choice for Value Convenience

Truth be told, your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kits can save you a mountain of money, time and boxes full of wasted and hazardous single-use batteries.

Charge these batteries anywhere, anytime. The enclosed micro USB cord lets you charge up to 4 batteries at once! No fancy equipment required. Just plug them in, forget about them, and they’re recharged when you come back!

USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kits Information:

Compatible Devices

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Claim Your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kits Now

24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

You Get a FREE Bonus Gift with Your Order

With your order you’ll get a FREE bonus gift, digital gifts will be sent to your inbox immediately after purchase:

[FREE] Blackout Response Guide

In this exclusive digital report, you’ll learn how to keep your life ON even when the power is OFF. It’s packed with tips and tricks on how to handle a blackout like:

  • 13 items to have ready before a power outage
  • When NOT to use candles (it’s not what you think)
  • 1 phone number to never call for blackout updates
  • How to prepare your pets
  • Step-by-step tips for keeping food and water safe

Your USB-Rechargeable Batteries and FREE bonus gift could truly make a difference for you in a crisis. Click the “Add To Cart” button below.

24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

Customer Reviews: Folks Love These USB Batteries

I Bought 4 Kits to Charge EVERYTHING

I bought 4 four-packs of USB batteries and I am so glad I found these. After charging all the batteries I’m using them everywhere. Flashlights, PC mouse, led lighting, blood pressure cuff.

The four-battery charger port that comes with each pack is a neat nesting device that can not only charge the batteries but also other USB devices.

This product will pay for itself very quickly. Did I mention that I can charge my drone too and use the batteries in the wireless controller too.

I Feel Secure Having This

These batteries can be a lifesaver when something unexpected happens. Especially along with the 4Patriots solar-powered charger. They can all work hand-in-hand together.

Grab as many of these as you can get. You never know when you’ll need them, but you’ll be thankful you have them when that time comes!

Real reviews from real customers. Sometimes customers receive a free product to test or receive a free product as a thank you for submitting honest feedback. For more information, see footnote 1.

Your 4Patriots Order is 100% Risk-FREE

100% Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee

If for any reason you’re not satisfied with your 4Patriots product, just return it within 365 days (that’s a full year) from the date of purchase and we’ll refund 100% of your purchase price.

Your Order Helps USA Veterans

When you shop with 4Patriots, a portion of the proceeds goes to charities that support our veterans and their families. Including Operation Homefront, Fisher House, A Soldier’s Child-Foundation and Team Rubicon.

4Patriots and our affiliated brands have donated more than 975,000 since we founded the company. And the number keeps growing!

You can feel good knowing that you’re supporting our veterans while getting the peace of mind you deserve.

An American Company You Can Count On

Thanks to your support, we’re able to employ 175 American men and women from all across the USA. People who work hard and truly enjoy helping folks get prepared for emergencies.

Our office is located in Nashville, Tennessee. We’re real people – Americans. Not some 800 number in a foreign call center.

So, if you need help… please call or chat with our friendly, America-based customer service team today.

Claim Your USB-Rechargeable D Battery Kits Now

24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week / 365 Days a Year

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I change my mind?

Q: Is it safe to buy online?

All testimonials in this advertisement are from real people; sometimes names and photos have been changed to protect their privacy and some were given free products in exchange for their honest feedback. Testimonials represent exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to guarantee that anyone will achieve the same results. The organizations, publications and people referenced on this site are not affiliated with 4Patriots. They have not endorsed, sponsored or recommended this product; no affiliation or endorsement is claimed. Terms conditions apply. Cade Courtley is a former Navy SEAL and Platoon Commander who served 9 years of active duty and has been compensated by 4Patriots for his hard work in helping us test and endorse this product.

Battery charge times will vary based on the power capacity (mAh) of the battery. Always follow proper charging and usage instructions. Approximate charge times per battery type are as follows… D-batteries: 1.5 hours.

Join our email list or VIP Text Club for early access to deals new-product releases!

battery, hour, capacity, calculator, batteries, required

Contact Us

2920 Berry Hill Dr., Suite 300Nashville, TN 37204

This is the corporate office. No customer drop-ins, please.

Used Household Batteries

Find information about the types of batteries used in households and how to manage them when they are no longer needed.

Certain batteries should NOT go in household garbage or recycling bins. This page can inform you on how to manage these batteries safely. Waste batteries can always be recycled or taken to household hazardous waste collection points.

To prevent fires from lithium-ion batteries, tape battery terminals and/or place batteries in separate plastic bags and never put these batteries in household garbage or recycling bins.

On this page:


Every year in the United States, millions of single use and rechargeable batteries are bought, used and recycled or disposed of in the trash. Batteries come in various chemistries, types and sizes to fit their use.

  • Single-use batteries can generally be removed from the device when they stop powering the device.
  • Rechargeable batteries may be removable or permanently attached to the device.

The increased demand for batteries can be traced largely to the Rapid increase in use of small portable electronics, power tools, and other everyday items, as well as the increase in “Smart” products, such as small and large appliances and automobiles.

Batteries are manufactured using different mixtures of chemical elements designed to meet customers’ power and performance needs. Batteries can contain metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and silver, which can pose a threat to human health or the environment when improperly managed at the end of their service life. Battery types are identified by marking and labeling, not by the battery’s shape or the color of the label.

Some batteries may also contain materials such as cobalt, lithium and graphite that are considered critical minerals by the United States Geological Survey. Critical minerals are raw materials that are economically and strategically important to the United States and have a high supply risk potential and for which there are no easy substitutes. Consequently, every effort should be made to recycle and recover these materials to ensure they will be available for generations to come.

Learn about infrastructure investments to improve the nation’s battery recycling programs.

Once a battery is no longer useful, the type and chemistry of the battery determines which of the various waste management options to use. It is important to manage batteries correctly according to their type because some batteries can cause a risk to safety and health if mismanaged at the end of their lives. Batteries can have enough energy to injure or start fires even when used and when they appear to be discharged. For safety, remember that not all batteries are removable or serviceable by the user—heed battery and product markings regarding safety and use for all types of batteries.

Single-Use Batteries

Alkaline and Zinc-Carbon

Some reclamation companies recycle these batteries; check with your local or state solid waste authority for management options. In most communities, alkaline and zinc carbon batteries can be safely put in your household trash.

EPA recommendation: send used alkaline and zinc carbon batteries to battery recyclers or check with your local or state solid waste authority.

Button-Cell or Coin

Button-cell or coin batteries can be a potential swallowing hazard; store them out of the reach of young children.

Management requirements are based on the battery’s chemistry. They can be brought to specialized battery recyclers, participating retailers that provide battery takeback services or local household hazardous waste collection programs. Contact the manufacturer or local solid waste authority for additional management options.

Handling precautions: Place each battery in separate plastic bags or place non-conductive tape (e.g., electrical tape) over the battery’s terminals or around the entire button. A lithium battery may spark and cause fires if damaged or the terminal ends touch. If the battery becomes damaged, contact the manufacturer for specific handling information.

EPA recommendation: Check for the word “lithium” marked on the battery. Do not put button-cell, coin, or lithium single use batteries in the trash or municipal recycling bins. Find a recycling location near you:

Lithium Single-Use

Rechargeable Batteries

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)

  • These batteries are typically used in cordless power tools, cordless phones, digital and video cameras, two-way radios, bio-medical equipment and video cameras.
  • They may look like single-use AA, AAA or other alkaline batteries or a battery pack shaped for specific tools.

Removable batteries: Removable rechargeable batteries can be brought to specialized battery recyclers, participating retailers that provide battery takeback services, or local household hazardous waste collection programs. Contact the manufacturer or your local household waste authority for other management options.

Non-removable batteries contained in electronic devices: Entire devices can be brought to certified electronics recyclers, participating retailers that provide electronics takeback services, or local electronics or household hazardous waste collection programs.

Handling precautions: Place each battery in a separate plastic bag or place non-conductive tape (e.g., electrical tape) over the battery’s terminals. Handle any damaged battery with care and appropriate personal protective equipment. If a lithium-ion battery becomes damaged, contact the battery or device manufacturer for specific handling information.

EPA recommendation: Look for labels identifying battery chemistry. Do not put rechargeable batteries in the trash or municipal recycling bins. Find a recycling location near you:

Lithium-Ion (Li-ion)

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Nickel-Zinc (Ni-Zn)

Small-Sealed Lead Acid (Pb)

  • Commonly found in mobility scooters, children’s toy cars, emergency lighting and hospital equipment. Also used for backup power in residential landline phones and uninterruptable power supplies for computers.

Automotive Batteries

There are several types and applications of batteries used in vehicles today. There are automotive starting batteries used with internal combustion engines, large electric vehicle battery packs that power the vehicle and small batteries that power accessories such as remote door locks or back up the computer’s memory.

  • Lead-acid batteries may contain up to 18 pounds of lead and about one gallon of corrosive lead-contaminated sulfuric acid.
  • They can be used as either an engine starting battery or automotive power battery that moves the vehicle.
  • They can be found in automobiles, boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, wheelchairs, and other large transportation vehicles.
  • They may also be used in non-automotive situations such as backup power in basement sump-pumps or as uninterruptible power supplies for computers or other critical equipment.

Return to the battery retailer or your local solid or household hazardous waste collection program.

Handling precaution: Contains sulfuric acid and lead. When handling the battery, follow all warnings and instructions on the battery.

EPA recommendation: Return lead-acid batteries to a battery retailer or local household hazardous waste collection program ; do not put lead-acid batteries in the trash or municipal recycling bins.

  • Most of today’s plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles and energy storage (on and off-grid) use Li-ion batteries to either store power for the hybrid system or to power the electric motor that moves the vehicle.
  • These batteries are also used for energy storage systems that can be installed in buildings.

Because of the size and complexity of these battery systems, medium and large-scale Li-ion batteries may not be able to be removed by the consumer. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and heed warnings and safety instructions.

  • Automobile: Contact the automobile dealer, shop or salvage yard where the battery was purchased.
  • Energy Storage: Contact the energy storage equipment manufacturer or company that installed the battery.

EPA recommendation: Contact the manufacturer, automobile dealer or company that installed the Li-ion battery for management options; do not put in the trash or municipal recycling bins.

State Battery Recycling Laws

Some states have enacted battery recycling laws for various types of consumer batteries. To see a map of state battery laws, go to the Call2Recycle website.

Leave a Comment