Alkaline batteries typically have a shelf life of up to two years while still retaining 90 percent of their original charge. The usable lifespan of a particular battery depends on the application for which the battery is used.

Alkaline batteries are the most common disposable batteries for use in consumer products and appliances; in fact, 80 percent of batteries being manufactured in the U.S. are alkaline. They generate a charge via the reaction between positively-charged zinc powder and the negative electrode of the manganese dioxide cathode.

Alkaline batteries are typically rated at 1.5 volts per cell and come in in AAA, AA, C, D and 9-volt sizes.