When a battery is charged, it converts electrical power into chemical energy. The reverse occurs when the battery is used to deliver power to a load. Basically, a battery consists of two electrodes separated by means of an electrolyte, an ionic liquid, or paste that conducts electricity. One electrode, the anode, permits the flow of electrons out of it. The other, the cathode, receives electrons. Energy is saved in the unique compounds that make up the anode, cathode, and electrolyte. The battery gets charged either via recharging or in the manufacturing of the unit. During discharge, the chemical on the anode releases electrons and ions in the electrolyte undergo an oxidation reaction. The cathode accepts electrons, completing the circuit for the electrons to flow. The electrolyte is there to put the various chemicals of the anode and cathode into contact with one another so that the chemical potential can equilibrate from one terminal to another, converting stored chemical electricity into beneficial electrical energy.
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