Lead Acid Batteries: Understanding the Basics and Benefits

What is a Lead Acid Battery?

A lead acid battery is a type of rechargeable battery that uses lead and lead oxide as electrodes and sulfuric acid as the electrolyte. The battery is made up of several cells, each containing lead plates immersed in the electrolyte.

When the battery is charged, the lead plates in each cell become coated with lead dioxide (positive electrode) and sponge lead (negative electrode). When the battery is discharged, the chemical reaction between the electrodes and electrolyte generates an electrical current.

How Does a Lead Acid Battery Work?

During the charging process, a direct current (DC) is applied to the battery, which causes the lead dioxide on the positive electrode and the sponge lead on the negative electrode to convert to lead sulfate. This process releases electrons, which are stored in the battery as potential energy.

During the discharge process, the battery’s stored energy is converted back into electrical energy as the lead sulfate on the electrodes is converted back into lead dioxide and sponge lead. This process releases electrons, which flow through the battery and generate a current that can be used to power a device.

Benefits of Lead Acid Batteries

  1. Low cost: Lead acid batteries are one of the most affordable types of batteries available, making them an attractive option for applications where cost is a primary concern.
  2. High discharge rates: Lead acid batteries are capable of delivering high amounts of power in short periods, making them well-suited for applications like starting engines in vehicles.
  3. Long life span: With proper maintenance, lead acid batteries can last for several years, making them a reliable option for backup power systems and other applications that require long-term use.
  4. Easily recyclable: Lead acid batteries are highly recyclable, with a recycling rate of around 99%, making them an environmentally friendly option.


Lead acid batteries may be one of the oldest types of batteries available, but they continue to be popular because of their reliability, affordability, and ability to deliver high amounts of power. Whether you’re looking for a backup power source or need a reliable battery for your vehicle, a lead acid battery may be the perfect choice. With proper maintenance, they can last for many years, providing a reliable source of power when you need it most.