Zinc carbon batteries have a long history and are widely used worldwide, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Originally, in order to maintain quality and get a better performance, these batteries utilized mercury, cadmium and lead, all of which impact severely on the environment. Panasonic managed to eliminate mercury in 1989 and cadmium in 1991. But the difficulties in mass production of unleaded batteries involving the strength and erosion resistance of zinc battery cans prevented the development of no-added-lead product for a long time.
Even so, Panasonic, mindful of the increasingly stricker environmental regulations worldwide, and the increasing environmental awareness of its customers, kept on trying to develop a zinc can with no added lead. After having tried out one innovation after another, from selection of alternative materials and the combination ratio with zinc to zinc can processing methods, an independent technology achieving both good performance and mass productivity was successfully established in 2012.
The High-reliability, Pb 0% ADDED Zinc Carbon batteries commercially realized by these efforts are now on sale in more than 100 countries and regions globally.