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The electrodes in these batteries are made of nickel and a cadmium compound. NiCd batteries are small, lightweight and robust. They have high power output and allow for a large number of charge and discharge cycles. Due to their toxic heavy metal compounds, controlled recycling is imperative.
The electrodes in nickel-metal hydride batteries are made of nickel and a metal alloy with embedded hydrogen. NiMH batteries have a more favourable power-to-weight ratio than NiCd batteries. They are maintenance-free and environmentally neutral.