Dry cell batteries create electrical energy by converting chemical energy into electricity. The exact means of doing so depends on the type of dry cell battery in question, but the materials that are used are generally zinc and carbon or zinc and manganese dioxide.
These materials are placed within the electrolyte paste within the battery. They react with each other through a chemical process in which the electrolyte (carbon or manganese dioxide) reacts with the zinc, creating electricity. This is transmitted out of the battery using positive and negative electrodes.
Dry cell batteries are batteries that use an extremely low-moisture electrolyte. They are contrasted by wet cell batteries such as lead-acid batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte that is used in most dry cell batteries is a sort of paste which, though containing moisture, is still relatively dry.
Dry cells are typically used as primary cells, and these batteries can handle long periods of storage because they lose their charge more slowly than secondary batteries. Lithium ion batteries represent a type of dry cell battery well-suited for use in cell phones, due to its high energy density, or its power stored versus weight. This means a small compact, durable battery can deliver a large amount of power.