Skip to content
What Types of Batteries Are There?

What Types of Batteries Are There?

A watch, your smartphone, the kitchen scale, your TV's remote control, your laptop, the hoverboard or smoke detector on the ceiling: they all work on - entirely different - batteries. In this blog post, we help you gain an overview and give you an idea of all that is available on the market.

What types of batteries are there?

There are different ways of classifying batteries.

Disposable versus rechargeable

Disposable batteries are also known as single-use or primary batteries. You can only use them once. Once a disposable battery is discarded, you cannot recharge it and you have to take it to a collection point. We use disposable batteries mainly in electronic devices that use little energy, such as the remote control of your television, clocks and calculators. These batteries lose their charge a little more slowly (self-discharge) than rechargeable batteries. We use them in smoke detectors and flashlights, for example.

Rechargeable batteries can be found in laptops, mobile phones, cameras, tablets, etc. When they are used, we can simply recharge them. Did you know that you can extend your batteries’ life if you recharge them correctly? A rechargeable battery can be charged up to 1,000 times and so winds up being cheaper for certain applications.

Available formats

The best-known battery is the AA battery (also known as penlite or mignon battery). It is the typical cylindrical battery found in toys, remote controls, the computer mouse, bike lamps, flashes and compact cameras.

The little brother of the AA is the AAA or triple A battery. This pencil battery or microbattery is used in same sorts of applications as its larger variant.

Lastly, in the A series you have the very thin AAAA battery. This is used for very thin applications such as flexible flashlights and in a stylus used to write on a tablet.

AA batterijen
Knoopcellen in hand

Let's just stay in the “mini-department” of the battery world for a while. The flat button cell also has a thin shape, on which the poles are really close to each other. This battery is ideal for kitchen scales and alarm clocks.

The more rectangular 9-volt battery is recognizable from its protruding poles. You can use it in smoke detectors, older remote controls and cordless microphones, among other things.  

9V batterij

Battery packs come in two versions: the “naked” and the “clothed” version. This battery is used mainly in industrial settings. Battery packs with a jacket can be safely collected at school, whereas the ones without a jacket or a damaged jacket cannot.

traction battery is used for electric vehicles. You can find them in forklift trucks, pallet trucks and mechanical sweepers.


The above is a sampling of the range of batteries based on their format. But as you will suspect, the full list is even longer. 

Would you like to learn about a bunch of other batteries?

Then please go to our educational Batteripedia page.

Battery composition

You can read all about how a battery works in this blog post. There, we learn that a battery must be of a specific composition to be able to give off energy. Here are some of the most common batteries:

  • zinc-carbon cell battery is used primarily for applications that require little energy, such as a clock or remote control. This is a primarybattery.

  • An alkaline battery is also a disposable variant that can be used in toys. This battery provides 3 times more energy than the above-mentioned zinc-carbon cell.

  • The lithium-ion battery is currently the most popular battery: it holds a lot of energy and it is rechargeable. You will find these in your smartphone and laptop, among others.

  • Finally, the lead-acid battery is found in the motor of many cars. This battery was invented back in 1859 and was then the first battery that could be recharged.

How should you recycle the different batteries?

Whatever batteries you use, if they are used or can no longer be recharged, you should not let them lie around the house. They contain valuable metals that can be given a new life in countless surprising applications. Moreover, with time they can begin to leak.

Put them in a collection cube and take them to one of the 25,000 collection points so that Bebat can recycle them.

Do you want to make sure you collect your batteries safely?

Then be sure to check out our ten handy tips!

Looking for a collection point?

Looking for a collection point?

Find one near you.

Find a collection point