After the 3+ year experiment that started in March 2019 we FINALLY have some alkaline battery leakage failures! Did the Duracell's fail?
That pesky potassium hydroxide forming potassium carbonate.
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Hi if you remember back in March 2019. Geez, that was a long time ago now. I started a long-term battery leakage experiment where I got seven different brands of batteries and I discharged them in various ways to see if we can which actual Brands actually leaked and I did a follow-up video 10 months later after that to show that well, it was a complete and epic failure. None of them had leaked at all.

Um, and then I've done like the odd: I've looked at them over the time. they've just been sitting in storage in these uh containers here and uh yeah, they haven't leaked. but I was just in the bunker the other day and we got one. Thank you we got one! Yes! I we actually got some leaking brand batteries and you can see here.

No, they weren't all in this container I had to uh, Phys I sorted and I actually shot a video down in the bunker but something like on my shoe phone. um and it turns out that I wasn't actually recording or something dumb like that. So I bought them all back to the lab here and I put fail ones that were leaking in to this container here and well, there's the culprits. We'll get them out and take a closer look up in a minute.

but uh yeah, you can see these are all like the original uh tubs and as you can see, there's no leakage on any of these on the bottom that I can see I might need. Oh, actually is that Duracell I just noticed that is that Duracell starting to leak there. But anyway, if you remember the original video I put like, uh, black marks like two black marks on ones that had been double discharged. were they and ones that were single discharge I can't remember I'll link in the video down below.

but let's actually get that Duracell have we actually got another one? oh I don't know. it's hard to tell. Oh, if you get the tongue at the right angle, maybe Anyway, they're going to leak out of the bottom side. Of course of the negative end because that's where the seal usually is on these.

uh Double A's so as you can see none of the other ones that one there's a little bit of crustiness on there. sorry about uh, seeing through the plastic isn't that terrific, is it? But yeah, you can see that they haven't basically failed. And the main culprits everyone was oh yeah, I bet every last dollar that the juror leaks. Um, as people call them duracells, they're gonna leak guaranteed.

And like none of the duracells have actually leaked. In fact. I I think oh yeah, there's another couple of ones in here. um as well.

So we've got some crusty burger ones in there. but as you can see like, most of them didn't leak like single discharge double discharge. And of course, if you saw the original video, my original video I think I had a 1K resistor on here. It's all tangled up.

had a 1K resistor on here. discharging and even those ones. look, they have not. Oh no, there's a little bit of crustiness on the back of that, but like it hasn't.

Basically, it has not leaked right, even with the resistors still on them like year like a couple of years later. And then I repeated the experiment with a one Meg resistor was it or something? Anyway, Um, Lads yeah, the energizers. These haven't leaked either, right? So I've still got a bunch that are still in their original holders. and as you can see, the duracells have not leaked at all.
which is remarkable because everyone knows the duracells. They've even got the nickname duraleeks because they're just classic for leaking. But as I've shown in my videos um Energizer ones also leak and other brand uh ones that I've shown in various leakage videos over there I try and Link in. in fact, do I have a playlist I might have a playlist for battery leakage if not I've done that many videos.

so I have to get a playlist up and running. but yeah, as you can see, like none of those in that still have the loads directly connected to them have failed. So obviously what's going on here is my simple uh, test with the resistor like this. and it like even like a lot of people suspected, like the pressure from the spring contacts might actually be causing something.

you know when you put in the product it's got a physical tension on the end of the cell like that and some people's hypothesis was that yeah, put in the physical pressure on the end of the battery actually causes them to leak. but you know that doesn't seem to be the case I have not got one in these battery holders that has actually leaked. So from my small scale experiment here, you know we might be able to rule that out. but um yeah I suspect it's how they're actually discharged and under what conditions that they're discharged to what point obviously having just the resistor on there which is going to work right down until you know the the last electron leaves this sucker then that is different to say a DC to DC converter in a Uh product.

So my follow-up plan was to buy like 10 different brand uh double A torches flashlights for you Yanks um you know with just like a single double A battery in them and like see if they and see which brand are those uh leaks with the Juris which is the one most prone to link which seems to be uh, the duracells not in my testing but basically everyone's anecdotal experience. um and see in which one of those happens to leak. it might be the properties of the DC and DC converter and how and the load on it and stuff like that. So I suspect that is more to play than anything else.

but yeah, it's the white. Coat Syndrome I Couldn't get any of these things to fail for years, but they have finally failed. So I don't know at what point they've been sitting down in storage bank I have monitored them all the time, but I think they lasted like at least a year, you know a year and a half or something I Last looked at them and they hadn't leaked. so it's sometime after that.

So check it out! We've got uh three, Panasonics uh, two vadas, a Energizer a Maxwell and a wallaby uh brand which is just like a generic like you know Supermarket uh brand here in Australia and you can see the leakage on them and of course the white crystalline stuff that you see that's actually uh, potassium carbonate and that's formed by the culprit inside alkaline batteries which is the potassium hydroxide. and then if that leaks out, if the air seal inside the battery uh, fails the the Rubber seal, you can see that black seal around the negative end of the battery there. and if the pressure builds up inside due to the electrochemistry, then the potassium hydroxide leaks out in liquid form. and I've got a video which I'll link in showing a battery when it was actually in the liquid Stakes It's quite rare to catch them in the liquid state.
Usually when it leaks out, it then combines with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and potassium hydroxide becomes potassium carbonate. the white crystalline uh stuff that you see here. So yeah, you can see the see the crustiness of it. Oh absolutely terrible mural.

Anyway, this wallaby one is interesting because that's the positive terminal right? So it did that have a seal at there like it looks like it's got a seal. It's a negative end. Oh I have to get another wallaby one that hasn't failed. Now as you can see, nope, there's the seal around the negative end there and the positive end.

No, it's just like a complete metal cap like that. So the only way that you can get leakage around the positive end like that. um unless I don't know. somehow got through the metal is, um, just physically.

uh for it to be the way it was physically stored and the liquid ran out and just went down the other end and then it starts to corrode the metal and everything else. So I didn't leak out that end. it would have leaked out this end and uh yeah, it just went down the side of the battery and it just due to the physical orientation of how this thing was stored. Now I'd say that the winner has to go to this.

Uh Panasonic E-volta here. That's just that's beautiful. Look at that. it's just leaked all the way along there and right along.

Once again, it's how the thing's been stored. but I think that is quite beautiful. It's leaked to the positive end as well. And this Vada one once again.

um yeah. I can't remember how those these were was stored but this was after my move after I moved out of the Uh Infamous flooded uh lab and stuff. Um so yeah. look at that.

Oh wow, black is the Ace of Spades unless believable. Anyway, made in Germany thank you very much, but out of the seven different brands, it was wallaby, two vatas, three Panasonic so they're the worst one Energizer slightly I mean you know, like that's barely there, right? That's I I wouldn't even call that leaking really. it's just like sort of like started too so I wouldn't even say energizes one of them. and Maxwell so I'd say only for those four Brands really wouldn't count that Energizer four Brands failed and like none of the duracells I couldn't believe it.
None of the Phillips none of the Toshiba yeah and I can't remember why I had a grab bag of uh these. this is the original bag that they would have gone to the Uh bunker storage unit in. but uh yeah, like I think one one of them leaked in there so there is a bit of uh you know crustiness down the bottom but there were basically just one in that like sealed bag. So here's all of the Duracell ones in in this test.

and yeah, you can see like maybe some crustiness on there that actually came from the packet. You can see that maybe right, Maybe they're starting to something starting to happen down there. But we're talking like over two years and these were all discharged in various different ways and none of them have leaked. Of course, this doesn't mean that duracells don't leak.

Everyone knows they damn well leak. um, in your own experience. but it's the conditions under which you discharge them and I just happen to discharge them under the completely wrong conditions at none of these. Surely the odds were as some of these duracells would fail, not not one of them.

And as I said, none of the other brands we're talking Fujitsu we're talking Eclipse another Cheapo hardware store brand Fujitsu Again, a couple of the Panasonics didn't leak the coals which is a supermarket brand um, Alkaline. but I've shown that they've leaked. but before I had some juice Bank batteries you know you buy those on eBay just some generic one hung low brand and Philips and Maxell and none of these have failed more. Fujitsu and Panasonic and Eclipse but I have seen the eclipse ones.

um, a fail before. So I've seen like most of these Brands fail before. but I thought the Panasonics would have been really good. So I'm disappointed that the Panasonics like had the highest number of failures in my albeit failed test here, but still.

um, isn't that fascinating? And it's interesting to note the difference in construction between two Duracells. We've got the regular Copper Top here and then the Duracell Dura lock. Um, yeah, Duralock technology. So I guess this is their Duralock.

You can see that it's got like a like a fabric kind of thing. It's got like a like a fabric seal. Something like that. That's what it looks like anyway.

Um, so that's that's rather unusual. whereas your regular Copper Top has like folded over metal and they'll be be an O-ring around like a rubber ring around the side there. So yeah, they're very different. End termination: Technologies And they're both duracells as the dura lock one up close with the macro lens.

Yeah, that's some sort of fabric. It's almost like it's separated and it's like I don't know. a bit like it. It hasn't leaked, but that's that's all.
loosey-goosey What the what's going on there? I Don't you know? I Don't know. It doesn't instill a lot of confidence, does it? Duralock Technology: enduracell batteries protects the power ingredients and reduces the self-discharge of the batteries after prolonged shelf storage, Energy is stored in a core made of Highly purified zinc, which is enclosed by a unique separator that guards against internal shorting that by nickel plated steel. to reduce corrosion. Duralock technology makes unused Duracell batteries fresh and powered up to 10 years in ambient storage.

Now, just as an interesting aside, I Just recently learned this: I Can't believe I Didn't know this, but these are Carbon Zinc batteries or dry cell Uh batteries as they are called. I've been having issues, um, the shipping by multimeters with these batteries in them via DHL and uh, it's yeah, these are dry cell, right? Well, in theory, they shouldn't leak like alkaline batteries because everyone knows that alkaline batteries. You know they famously leak, whereas these dry cells in theory shouldn't. So what I did know is that of course alkaline batteries also known as alkaline manganese batteries because they contain manganese.

Like you know, 30 to 40 percent manganese typically. And but what I didn't know is that these carbon zinc batteries also contain the same amount of manganese in them. So these are carbon zinc manganese batteries really. But I've never heard them being called that at all.

But the difference is these do not contain the pesky potassium hydroxide that alkalines do. and that is what of course leaks out the potassium hydroxide liquid as I said forms with carbon dioxide and forms potassium carbonate and uh, you know, turns into acid and eats you all your metal battery terminals and everything else. So your carbons in dry cell batteries do not, uh, contain that. but I don't know I think I have seen these technically leak, but it's not potassium hydroxide because in theory, they shouldn't contain any if they do well.

they're not proper carbons in batteries, so there you go. Um, barely. none of the like Duracell and Energizer basically none of those uh, failed and we just had a couple of others and Panasonic seem to be the worst. So yeah, after all that after like what two and a half year March 2019 I originally started this I don't know, let me know Thoughts comments down below: Should I start this test again? Um, as I said if I did this, I would find a product that they that they fail in.

So I'd buy like you know, 10 different cheap two dollar torches or two dollar remote controls on eBay or something like that I'd buy 10 of them I'd put the batteries in I'd do a couple of months. This is a two-step experiment. figure out which product actually causes seems to cause them to fail and then I'd buy a 10 of that particular brand product and then I'd put the batteries in. Let me know if you think that's the best way to do it, or let us know if you've got a guaranteed way to make these things fail.
because obviously my uh discharging to two different I think ninety percent, one was halfway, one was 90 or something, and then I had like a control one that was like fresh out of the packet. But of course I keep retweeting all the time People send me. Please Uh, tweet me your battery leakage things I love it when people do that and I uh retweet those and they show like an unopened packing of duracells just completely leaked, right? It's just. ah, it's ridiculous.

Anyway, there you you go. We did actually get a result. Um, after all those years like, so maybe like at least a year and a half. Um, it took to at least do that to some of the brands and curiously, it's not really the ones I expected.

Anyway, I hope you found that interesting. If you did, please give it a big thumbs up. As always, comments down below and check out our exclusive content which I um, sometimes put over on my Odyssey channel. Catch you next time! Oh,.

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23 thoughts on “Eevblog 1508 – we finally got alkaline battery leakage!”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ray tech says:

    Almost all alkaline batteries are rubbish in nature , will damage everything where you will use it.
    Duracell is the worst one.😢😢😢

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Usher says:

    In a box of 8 Duracell AAs I’ve had 2 fail before they were even used.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jon Freeman says:

    I think modern batteries don't leak anymore. The older generation batteries leaked but now with better chemical formulation and better battery housing it's a thing of the past.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars B B says:

    These leakers ruined my thermostat.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Light & Industrial Control Systems says:

    Zinc Carbon batteries certainly used to leak, Many brown stains in the bottom of draws in my old house to prove it. Maybe the newer ones are better sealed?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Christian Schneider says:

    I‘ve got the suspicion that all are made by Murphy Battery Co. and that you have to put them in a device of a certain value to leak. If you got 10 different torches, I bet the one in the most expensive will leak first.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars misium says:

    also, test new in box batteries

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mysock351C says:

    A possibility is that they may only really start to leak when confined. In relatively open containers the electrolyte can evaporate. But if it’s confined it could cause accelerated corrosion and the small crusties turn into massive dumps inside your electronics.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MrDiggie says:

    Duraleaks have killed so many devices I swapped my entire house to Eneloops one day regardless of the cost.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars FennecTECH says:

    Im suprised there isnt a single leaking durasmell

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars misium says:

    leakage test in vs out of a circuit

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Great - Tools says:

    Dave, I hope you can reply to me. I have been meaning to ask you a question for years but I was waiting for a battery video.

    I have a Radio Shack "Miracle Seal" battery from 1988. It is a green battery that says ENERCELL EXTRA LIFE on it. I am in the USA but this battery was made in Japan for Tandy Corp. in Texas. It is a 1.5 Volt battery. As I said I bought it in 1988 and I wanted to see how long it would take to leak or go dead so I put it in my basement in 1988 and I just tested it and it still has 1 Volt left it in.

    My question is, how is it possible for this battery to last 34 years and still have this much power?

    I have to disagree with you about the Duracell batteries. I have some from 1995 to 1998 that are dead and not leaking yet. By far this Radio Shack battery is the best I have ever seen though. Now I see why they called it a "Miracle Seal". This battery is like my friend I've had it so long. I test it once per year and I think it is going to out live me at this rate.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 275drago says:

    Chemistry porn

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Johnathan Chuprun says:

    Battery powered torch? LIke one of those fire imitating lightbulbs? Naw just get a normal flashlight.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars pa4tim says:

    could it be a chemical reaction to the surrounding ? Like for instance some plastics like some foams falls apart if stored in a plastic bag and the inbetween layer of damping material in hiking shoes falls apart. I have some stored on a floor heated part of the floor and some in a cold part of the house. A few months ago I was sorting them out and the grey soft stuff from some on the heated floor fell apart, the others all were fine. They all were the same brand of sole ( vibram) I used to have a shop that sells outdoor gear and this was a common problem with shoes from custommers. Often 5 to 10 years old shoes but sometimes just 2 years old.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brettus says:

    They all leak if you live in the tropics (Nth Qld in my case but Darwin was worse) so it's the heat with humidity. We always stored batteries in the fridge when I was in the military…
    Easy leak test is to sniff the end of the negative terminal as it will smell similar to vinegar which is also what I use to clean the terminals, case and circuit board (neutralises the acid) of the equipment/remotes and finish with metho in a spray bottle to dry after they have spewed their guts!
    I solely use quality rechargeable NiMH (supposedly long storage types) or single cell LiFePO4 or LiPo (from RC parts suppliers) and modified for tv remotes etc depending on use case now.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ecospider5 says:

    Yes get 10 devices to test them in.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Cream Of Botulism Soup says:

    I suspect that the whole duraleak thing is just due to the fact that they make significantly more batteries than anyone else. Confirmation bias being what it is, people associate them with being leaky simply because they are more common.

    In my experience all alkaline batteries leak, doesn't really matter who made it.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars reasonablebeing says:

    I stopped using Duracell years ago after an umpteenth leak cleanup and switched to Energizer. I haven't had any leak problems since.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars T ME says:

    I recently had a box of varta ( still in their original box ) with several batteries leaked

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Breeze says:

    My theory is that the propensity for a cell to leak is directly proportional to the damage it is going to cause, or more precisely how expensive it will be to fix or replace the damaged device! Of course your test didn't show much leakage. No expensive electronics were harmed in the filming of this vlog!

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ramosel says:

    After watching the beginning of this test in 2019, I came across some Kodak AA batteries I’d had since I worked for them in the 90s. The pick ticket from the parts system was dated 1994. Much to my surprise, none of them had any signs of leaking. Even more shocking was they all metered out just over 1.6v. The he highest was 1.64v. I put them in a couple of small clocks and they worked for months. I’ve been writing on the back of the clock and so far the Kodaks lasted about 45 days loners than any Energizer or Amazon Basics. I’m guessing they were made by Eastman Chemical but I don’t think they make batteries today.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars SeanBZA says:

    Would also say it is a batch and plant thing, with the different batches made in different plants having a different time to leakage. Different machines stretch the steel case differently, and leave thinner metal in the side, so the case ruptures on some, and a burr on the die leaving a thin positive metal pressing edge that popped.

    Would say you want to take a few different cells, different batches, different brands, and do a stress test on them, probably involving first discharging to flat by using the 1k resistor, then start to charge them using a 5V supply and a 1M resistor to give a trickle charge.

    Carbon zinc batteries use the same manganese dioxide depolariser, but instead use an ammonium chlorate paste as electrolyte, almost dry, mixed with the depolariser and a filler, often wood dust.The old air depolarised ones had a much thicker zinc case, and a full volume of the paste in contact with the carbon rod positive, but would only be able to supply a 100mA load for an hour before drooping down to almost nothing, till they had gained enough oxygen from the air, via a vent plug sealed with (on old ones) with balsa wood plugs, or a fired ceramic on later ones. Those were in phones, to power farm lines, and might last a half century in service.

    To get them to cook off nicely take a few packs of the batteries and put in your attic, or under the solar panels in a nice ziploc food baggie, and leave for the summer, so the thermal cycling takes them out. Ziploc so they keep dry, but cook nicely under the panels in the sun. They survive in the AC, thermal stress will kill them quickly. I had to toss away a good number of AA and AAA packs that did that, left in the garage and being done over by thermal cooking and humidity in Durban winter, they die much faster in summer when it clocks over 40C in there.

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