# Role of potassium hydroxide in alkaline battery?

Is the role of potassium hydroxide ($$\ce{KOH}$$) in an alkaline battery to provide hydroxide for the reaction with zinc? Would the battery cease to work if $$\ce{KOH}$$ was removed and only $$\ce{OH-}$$ from autoionization ($$\pu{10^{-7} M}$$) remained?

The role of $$\ce{KOH}$$ is to provide enough ions for redox reactions. Remember that redox reactions come in pairs, for every reduction there must be oxidation. If $$\ce{Zn}$$ reacts with $$\ce{OH-}$$ to form a hydroxide, what would be a counter-reaction?
A battery also needs to have certain ionic conductivities to be functional. Could you ever get enough $$\ce{OH-}$$ ions through autoionization?