Difference between Cell and Battery

Batteries and cells are important inventions that have made a lot of our everyday tasks and life much easier. They are practically used in most of the portable electronic devices that we use today. Besides, we can say that we cannot imagine a world without batteries and cells.

Having said that, a cell and a battery are quite different from each other, even though the terms are used interchangeably sometimes. A battery usually contains electrical energy, which is pre-supplied from a factory, or a battery can be charged via an outlet. On the other hand, a cell consists of a chemical energy source such as natural gas, diesel or propane where it converts these into electrical energy for power. So, in terms of how it is made and the functionalities, there are a few significant differences between cell and battery.

Difference Between Cell and Battery

When we look at the differences between cells and batteries, the biggest distinction would be – a battery typically stores energy, whereas a cell generates energy by converting available resources. However, you will find some other differences between the two below.

Difference Between Cell and Battery
Cell Battery
A cell is a single-unit device which converts chemical energy into electric energy. A battery usually consists of a group of cells.
Depending on the types of electrolytes used, a cell is either reserved, wet or dry types. Cell also includes a molten salt type. A battery is either a primary battery or a secondary battery meaning it is rechargeable or non-chargeable.
A cell is usually light and compact as it has a single unit. Battery normally consists of several cells, thus giving it a bigger size and bulky look.
A cell supplies power for a shorter period of time. A battery can supply power for long durations.
A cell is used mostly for lighter tasks which require less energy. It is used in clocks, lamp, etc. A battery is mostly used for heavy-duty tasks. It is used in automobiles, inverters, etc.
Cells are usually cheap Batteries are much costlier.

These are some differences between cells and batteries. To know more about important differences between similar products and other chemistry topics, you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and a learning experience.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is the symbol of Cell and battery?

A cell is a single unit of device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. A battery is a collection of cells that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
The symbol of the cell is denoted as follows:

Cell and Battery
The symbol of battery is denoted as follows:

Cell and Battery 1


Differentiate between a cell and a battery

A cell is a single unit which converts chemical energy into mechanical energy, while a battery is actually a combination of cells in series.


How is the battery formed? What is the difference between a cell and a battery?

A battery is a device that is able to store electrical energy in the form of chemical energy and convert that energy into electricity. There are three main components of a battery: two terminals made of different chemicals (typically metals), the anode and the cathode, and the electrolyte, which separates these terminals. The electrolyte is a chemical medium that allows the flow of electrical charge between the cathode and anode. When a device is connected to a battery — a light bulb or an electric circuit — chemical reactions occur on the electrodes that create a flow of electrical energy to the device. During a discharge of electricity, the chemical on the anode releases electrons to the negative terminal and ions in the electrolyte through an oxidation reaction. Meanwhile, at the positive terminal, the cathode accepts electrons, completing the circuit for the flow of electrons. The electrolyte is there to put the different chemicals of the anode and cathode into contact with one another in a way that the chemical potential can equilibrate from one terminal to the other, converting stored chemical energy into useful electrical energy. The ions transport current through the electrolyte while the electrons flow in the external circuit, and that’s what generates an electric current.

A cell is a single electrolyte and anode/cathode chemical reaction cell. It has a characteristic voltage which is set by chemistry. A battery is generally a stack of series-connected cells, although typically, a single-celled battery is also called a battery.


What is electric cell?

The branch of chemistry which deals with the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy and vice versa is called electrochemistry. The cell in which the interconversion of electrical and chemical energy is carried out is called an electrochemical cell. An electric cell is a device which converts chemical energy into electrical energy.


What is Galvanic Cell?

An electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of spontaneous redox reactions into electrical energy is known as a galvanic cell or a voltaic cell.

Related Links

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