Mercury Cell

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Mercury Cell: fuel cell

mercury cell

[′mər·kyə·rē ‚sel]
A primary dry cell that delivers an essentially constant output voltage throughout its useful life by means of a chemical reaction between zinc and mercury oxide; widely used in hearing aids. Also known as mercury oxide cell.

Mercury Cell


a galvanic cell with a negative electrode of Zn, In, or Cd and a positive electrode of red mercuric oxide and graphite. A solution or paste of potassium hydroxide serves as the electrolyte.

Mercury cells with a liquid electrolyte were already in use during the 1880’s. However, their mass production and widespread use did not become practical until the 1940’s, when their design was improved and new manufacturing techniques were developed. The most widely used mercury cell is designated KhRTs, a mercury-zinc cell in which the negative electrode is made of highly pure zinc. The initial voltage of this cell is 1.25–1.35 volts (V), and the final voltage approximately 1 V. Cells of this design can have capacities from 0.01 to 14.0 ampere-hours and can weigh from 0.2 to 170 g.

Mercury cells are noted for their voltage stability, long shelf life, resistance to mechanical disturbance, and small size. They are used as power sources, for example, in small radios, hearing aids, medical instruments, photographic and cinematographic equipment, and electric clocks, as well as in electro-metric instruments as sources of reference voltage.


Roginskii, V. Iu. Sovremennye istochniki pitaniia. Leningrad, 1969.
Orlov, V. A. Malogabaritnye istochniki toka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many details of membrane cell process were used such as temperature of discharge current, sodium hydroxide concentration and materials quality, and its difference with mercury cell process is using water without ion.
Pricing for the Mercury Cell Accelerator Board starts at US$7,999 for a single board, with discounts available on higher volumes.
According to Ravi Alkalis, a mercury cell plant was shipped from Norway to India last year.
There are larger electricity savings offset by steam usage for caustic evaporation which is not necessary with mercury cells.
Lithium and rechargeable-nickel-cadmium are also replacing the mercury cell.
The conversion from mercury-cell technology may be more significant in Western Europe, where 25% of chlorine caustic-soda production is by mercury cells.
Hydroxide, Sodium, 50% Liquid, Caustic Soda Vendor To Bid On Sodium Hydroxide 50% Liquid, Mercury Cell Grade Or Membrane Cell Grade.
Orica is working with the NSW EPA, and in consultation with the local community, to develop remediation plans for the Former ChlorAlkali Plant site which operated between 1945 and 2002 using mercury cell technology.
There is also an old and heavily-polluted chlorine complex based on mercury cells.