Difference Between Dry Cell and Wet Cell

Dry Cell vs Wet Cell

A device that can produce an electromotive force, and subsequently a current as a result of a chemical reaction is known as a cell. A collection of cells is called a battery. Cells and batteries are divided into two main categories as primary and secondary cells (batteries).

A cell (battery) that can be restored to produce electromotive force after all the chemicals have been used is known as a primary cell (battery). Primary batteries are single-use and disposable. A battery that can be revived and used multiple times is a secondary battery. The battery used in the mobile phone is a good example.                 

Wet Cell

A cell with a liquid electrolyte is known as a wet cell. Wet cells are the first type of cells to be developed and relatively simple in design. They can be made with common household material. For example, you can light a small bulb using a copper rod and a zinc rod dipped into a lime, which is also a wet cell where the sap/juice of the lime acts as the electrolyte.

Difference Between Wet Cell Battery

Leclanche cell, Daniel cell, Grove cell, Bunsen cell, Chromic acid cell, Clark cell, and Weston (Cadmium) cell are examples of wet cells. Batteries used in automobiles are wet cells. Technically known as a lead acid accumulator, it has lead electrodes with sulphuric acid as the electrolyte. 

Dry Cell

A primary or secondary cell in which electrolyte is restrained from flowing in some way is known as the dry cell. Zinc-carbon battery (or the ordinary torch battery) is a dry cell, in which the electrolyte is ammonium chloride paste and the container is the negative zinc electrode. It is a development from the Leclanche cell, where the ammonium chloride electrolyte is converted to a gel, to avoid fluid motion, but still supports the movement of charges to allow the current flow.

Difference Between Dry Cell Battery

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


Dry cells are the most common types of batteries at present. Absence of fluid inside, makes them light, portable, smaller and compatible, with a vast number of applications.

A number of alkaline secondary cells can be designed for use as dry cells. In these, the electrolyte (sodium or potassium hydroxide) is a liquid held inside a porous material or a gel. Alkaline dry cells typically have zinc-manganese dioxide, nickel cadmium, or nickel iron electrode system.

For specialized purposes, dry cells and batteries have been produced with solid electrolytes. These may contain a solid crystalline salt such as silver iodide and ion exchange membrane or an organic wax with a small amount of dissolved ionic material. Such cells deliver low currents, and they are used in miniature cells for use in electronic equipment.       

What is the difference between Wet Cell and Dry Cell?

• Wet cells have a fluid, and the fluid is free to move whereas, in dry cells, the electrolyte is restrained by either a porous container or mixing with a gel medium.

• Wet cells are heavier and bulky while dry cells are lighter and compact.

• Wet cells are riskier because of the potentially harmful fluid that may spill. (For example, sulphuric acid is used in the car batteries)

• Wet cells are cheaper to manufacture.

• Both wet cells and dry cells are available as primary and secondary cells (batteries).