The difference between these two types of batteries that would directly impact the ordinary user is battery capacity. Although zinc chloride batteries have a higher capacity compared to the older zinc carbon battery, the capacity of alkaline batteries is many folds over the capacity of both types of zinc batteries.
Then, is carbon zinc the same as alkaline?
The alkaline battery gets its name because it has an alkaline electrolyte of potassium hydroxide, instead of the acidic ammonium chloride or zinc chloride electrolyte of the zinc-carbon batteries. Other battery systems also use alkaline electrolytes, but they use different active materials for the electrodes.
Are carbon zinc batteries safe?
I've read user reports of Zinc-carbon batteries being safe for use with a few drawbacks. Reduced battery life compared to Alkaline batteries and the 360 being unable to warn when the life of the battery is low. Some say that the warnings are there to prevent liability if the batteries leak and damage the hardware.