BU-803: Can Batteries Be Restored?

Learn about low-capacity cells, cell matching, balancing, shorted cells and loss of electrolyte.

Battery users and entrepreneurs often ask, “Can batteries be restored?” The answer is: “It depends.” A battery failure does not always mean end of battery life. Rather than discarding a pack, ingenious entrepreneurs are discovering business models to grant retired batteries a second life. Considering the growing number of batteries that are being discarded, such business opportunities can only grow.

The three main battery defects are low capacity, high internal resistance and elevated self-discharge. Capacity fade occurs naturally with use and time; resistance increase is common with nickel-based batteries; and elevated self-discharge reflects possible stresses endured in the field. Capacity loss can often be reversed with NiCd and NiMH; lead acid with sulfation can sometimes also be improved. (See BU-901: Fundamentals in Battery Testing.)

Battery defects include low capacity, high internal resistance and elevated self-discharge. Capacity fade occurs naturally with use and time; resistance increase is common with nickel-based batteries; and elevated self-discharge reflects stress. Capacity loss can be reversed on nickel-based batteries affected by memory; some lead acid with sulfation can also be improved.

Batteries can be classified into portable, wheeled mobility, starter and stationary systems. Not all batteries are worth servicing but there are jewels among the rubbish. To turn a profit, some basic battery knowledge will be needed, such as familiarity with chemistries and understanding voltage, Ah, charge methods and C-rate. Above all, you must have a knack to spot what to touch and what to pass. Knowing the former life and how the end of battery life is determined will play a large role in how well these discarded batteries can be redeployed.

Portable Batteries

Store clerks replace mobile phone batteries on the slightest customer complaint without testing the pack. Installing a new battery satisfies the customer but this often does not solve the perceived problem of short runtime and the customer may return. There are also batteries that go to sleep due to over-discharge. These seemingly dead lithium-ion packs cannot be recharged with a regular charger but there is a way to boost them back to life. (See BU-808a, How to Awaken Sleeping Li-ion)

Many mobile phone batteries are discarded. They fill large boxes under service counters with nowhere to go. Meanwhile, service providers have discovered that nine out of ten replaced packs are good and can be restored. A recent study estimates the cost of frivolous battery replacement to be over $650 million per year in the USA alone.

Ingenious entrepreneurs have discovered an opportunity to recirculate these abandoned batteries. Service centers have sprung up in the USA, UK and Israel that purchase surplus batteries by the ton and check them with battery analyzers capable of performing rapid-testing. (See BU-907: Testing Lithium-based Batteries.) Some service centers handle as many as 400,000 batteries per month and the refurbished packs are redistributed as B-grade to stores. Studies show that these B-grade batteries perform as well as a new pack as there is no reported difference in the failure rate.

Not all smartphones allow battery replacement, but this does not eliminate the need to test them. Not being able to replace the batteries has affected the business model as there are fewer available packs to test and recirculate.

Healthcare is a large user of portable batteries. In the absence of battery maintenance, device manufacturers recommend replacing the packs according to a date stamp. This helps rotate inventory, but it adds an unnecessary time restriction as battery-wear is mostly attributed to usage and not idle time. A heavily used battery could fail within the allotted date stamp period and to compensate for this eventuality, device manufacturers mandate a tight replacement policy of 2–3 years. Fabrication-to-destination can cause delays and a battery could be 1 year old when it enters service.

Batteries have improved and live longer; they also carry a higher price tag. Lead- and nickel-based batteries are good for about 3 years of service; Li-ion typically lasts for 5 years. (See BU-501: Basics About Discharging.)

Date stamp

Under-usage is more common in healthcare than over-usage, and this leads to discarding a large pool of good batteries. A manager of the Energy Storage Research Program at DOE visited a recycling plant in the USA and discovered that “every year roughly one million usable lithium-ion batteries are sent in for recycling with most having a capacity of up to 80 percent.” A medical technician in a large USA hospital in Michigan reuses spent batteries from patient heart pumps to cut the grass at home with his electric lawn mower. This makes green energy even greener.

Biomedical technicians are aware of frivolous battery replacements and a whistle-blower at a mid-sized US hospital said: “Batteries are the most abused components in hospitals. Staff care little about them and only do the bare minimum. Recommendations for battery maintenance are vague and hidden deep inside service manuals.”

Restoring spent batteries lends itself to several business models. One is collecting and testing batteries from organizations that would otherwise discard them. The in-house analysis includes checking the capacity by applying a full discharge/charge cycle with suitable battery test equipment. Capacity is the leading health indicator and should read between 80 and 100 percent. Lower thresholds may be acceptable for less critical applications.

When testing a battery pack, also observe the internal resistance. The resistance of lead- and lithium-based batteries stays low until the end of life. Although an ohmic reading cannot predict the capacity, a high measurement could indicate anomalies such as corrosion, also known as parasitic reactions on the electrolyte and electrodes.

Battery validation should also include a self-discharge test by observing the voltage loss of a fully charged battery over 24 hours or longer. A stable voltage assures that the cell or pack had not been unduly stressed. A voltage difference of +/-5mV per cell after 24 hours is a go. If all requirements are met, the battery can be recertified and sold at reduced cost.

A smart battery may also fail by the manufacturer deliberately programming the end-of-life based on battery usage or age. This can be a fixed cycle count, a calendar date or exceeding the Max Error level on an SMBus pack. A further cause of failure is the inability to communicate due to a digital fault. Such errors cannot be corrected digitally but the cells may still be good. Salvage involves cracking the pack open and utilizing the naked cells.

The cells can be checked individually or left intact as a family by observing capacity, internal resistance and self-discharge. When building a pack, pay attention to cell matching. Only use cells of the same model number and equal performance to build a pack. It is not recommended to utilize cells that were designated for single-cell use for multi-cell packs as the performance may vary. (See also BU-910: How to Repair a Battery Pack.)

Wheeled Mobility

Batteries made for the electric powertrain are designed to last longer than those in consumer products. Experts predict that these rugged industrial batteries should still have up to 70 percent capacity after 10 years of service or 160,000km (100,000 miles) of driving on electric propulsion. (See BU-1002: Electric Powertrain, HEV, PHEV.) If such a long life can be expected, then it will make sense to test and re-purpose the batteries for a less demanding application. Several companies, including GM and ABB, are taking advantage of this business opportunity.

Large-scale batteries are divided into smaller modules that are connected in series and parallel. These units do not need cell-level checking but must meet state-of-health requirements as a module that includes capacity, internal resistance and self-discharge. Modules with similar performance levels can then be grouped together and used for solar and other systems. (See BU-901: Difficulties with Testing Batteries.)

Starter Batteries

Also known as starter, lighting, ignition (SLI), these batteries are commonly checked with a load test or a device that reads CCA (cold cranking amp). A battery that cranks can be sold for money, but a CCA measurement alone does not reveal the capacity, the leading health indicator. CCA refers to the internal resistance that stays low through most of the battery’s life while capacity gradually fades with use and time. A battery that is only tested with CCA is a gamble; adding capacity measurement commands a higher resale value. (See BU-904: How to Measure Capacity.)

Stationary Batteries

Stationary batteries are mostly lead acid. There is no easy way to test the capacity other than applying a full discharge/charge. These batteries are commonly replaced after 5–10 years of service; more frequently in hot climates. (See BU-806a: How Heat and Loading affect Battery Life.)Battery failures tend to be permanent, but sulfation–related failures can be corrected if caught in time. Sulfation often occurs on a solar system when the battery never receives a fully saturated charge. This is also common on electric wheelchairs that may only get an 8-hour charge overnight.

Adding additives to fix a faded lead acid battery is often not worth the effort. The active materials of an old battery are exhausted and the plates are corroded. (More on BU-804a: Corrosion, Shedding and Internal short.) Guys who claim success in restoring these old-timers echo what Thomas Edison said: “Just as soon as a man gets working on the secondary battery, it brings out his latent capacity for lying.” As with all products, the importance of reducing waste is in respecting the battery, caring for them, and only discarding them after their useful life has been spent and no salvage is possible.

Last updated 2017-02-12


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Comments (224)

On April 17, 2011 at 12:09am
Joe Doherty wrote:

How does this article stand with todays improved “Smart Chargers” are there any significant changes now, in 2011??

On July 28, 2011 at 3:07am
Bryan Stensaas wrote:

Dear Sir,
I am a missionary in Uganda E. Africa.  As we have daily power outages here I have developed a battery backup system using a triplite 2400w 24v inverter and 16 200a sealed lead acid batteries wired in series and in parallel to make the 24v.  I use the system powering a radio station and it would keep it going about 24 hr.  The batteries have lasted about 1 1/2 yrs but I am getting only 4 hrs from the system.  Batteries here are extremely expensive (around $300 each).  I took one of the old ones I had replaced and popped off the flat cover and found 6 small holes for the cells.  Is there a way that I can recharge these batteries?  On regular car batteries here they drain the battery and refill them with a new mixture of acid and water and they seem to work for some time.  If I could renew these batteries and even get another 6 months out of them it would be a very big savings. 

Because of Christ,
Bryan & Cheri Stensaas
Missionaries in Uganda

On November 18, 2011 at 11:20am
matej wrote:

Bryan, you do not state whether the batteries were new, or used. If they are only 1 1/2 years old and if there were times when your batteries were discharged for longer than few hours, sulphation is most likely the problem. In that case I would recommend you to try electrical desulphation. But maybe your charge/discharge currents were too high, or wrong charge voltages. Is there still enough water in the cells you popped cover from?

On December 3, 2011 at 7:08am
John Fetter wrote:


You need to stop using garbage for batteries. Sealed lead-acid is useless for cycling - no matter what the “experts” say. The ONLY type of battery suitable for the kind of duty you describe are good, old fashioned, flooded lead-acid motive power (traction) types. They will last ten years. No other battery will last even half as long.

On January 26, 2012 at 2:05pm
John Fetter wrote:

What is interesting about pulse technology is that there is evidence it does not actually reduce sulfation at all but gets rid of a totally different problem known in the trade as “open circuit” Symptom: The battery fails suddenly, with little or no warning..

It appears an ultra thin oxide layer or a sulfate layer can develop over the surfaces of calcium-lead alloy positive grids over time, (few years). The pulsing breaks down this layer.

All very low or ultra low maintenance and no-maintenance and all sealed lead-acid batteries have calcium-lead alloy positive grids. Pulsing works on these types of batteries. It does not appear to work on the “old fashioned” flooded antimony-lead alloy types, (nor on calcium hybrid types which actually have antimony-lead alloy positive and calcium negative grids).

Simply pulse for several hours and the “dead battery” problem seems to disappear.

On January 27, 2012 at 12:07am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- would you agree that a wla batt that has been left alone for say 6 months & will not take a charge & measures say 11v is effectively dead? Yes- then my pulser or if you like batt zapper is connected- the pulses measure at 1st 350v- then over period of several hrs drop to say 15v- then bat is put on constant volt charge of 14v- when the amps have dropped to say 50mA that batt is fully charged- confirmed by a high rate (200A) discharge test- so I have saved that batt! And it was the zapper that did it! And NO- the zapper does not charge the batt- it can’t- that would be energy from nothing!- I feel we are getting somewhere here- educating us & others. On a slightly diff sub- do you agree that a batt in a vehicle with a gen lasts twice as long as a batt in a vehicle with alt- seems to be gen has 150 magnetic moments/sec & alt has 350 mms- lower figure leads to deeper charge of plates whereas alt leads to surface charge- so by that reckoning a home batt charger from mains, thru a regulator filter setup, should be as good for extend batt life as a gen- if bat periodically charged using previous setup. One thing I know for sure- the worst thing for a wla batt is sitting on a floor(even though kept fully charged- & periodically shook or put on vibration machine to alleviate stratification)- so- just use batt in vehicle- say weekly- long runs. I have had batts from tips last 5 years! Cheers- Bevan.

On January 27, 2012 at 1:02am
John Fetter wrote:


I am not criticizing pulsing but I am very skeptical about the effect it has on sulfation. And what you are describing supports, rather than contradicts my contention.

Lead-calcium alloy positive grids are garbage. I have hand-built hundreds of lead-acid battery cells in my experiments. I have obtained automotive battery plates in an unformed condition from battery manufacturers in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Ukraine, etc., etc.

I have built identical rated cells from sets of positive plates made with antimony alloy and calcium alloy grids, negative plates all made with identical calcium alloy grids. (The antimony positives, calcium negatives are called hybrids.)

Simply connected all the cells in series and cycled them from 100% down to 20% and back up, etc., etc.. After 10 cycles the antimony grid cells had gained 10% in A-hs and the calcium grid cells had lost 80% in A-hs. This told me there is something weird going on with calcium. All the positive plates looked exactly the same but the calciums were not working any more.

Yes, the cells can be restored by pulsing. No, it is not sulfation.

Lead-sulfate requires at least the energy of a full charge to eliminate. An oxide layer requires only that the film be pierced to a sufficient extent. Then, once pierced, the battery can be charged in the ordinary way.

The problem can be treated chemically as well. Not by sulfation potions but by a material that attacks the thin oxide film. I have restored batteries that way.

To paraphrase Galileo Galilei, “In questions of science the opinions of thousands are not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”.

On January 27, 2012 at 2:08am
John Fetter wrote:


An old fashioned generator is controlled by a voltage sensitive relay. The generator “pushes up” the battery voltage, hence creates a charging current. When the voltage is high enough, the voltage relay opens the circuit to the field, and the field slowly collapses, thereby reducing the battery voltage. As soon as the voltage has fallen sufficiently, the voltage relay closes, the field builds up and the cycle is repeated.

An alternator produces three phase, which is rectified and fed to the battery. There is a solid state voltage controller that operates the field in exactly the same way. Alternators are inherently more robust than generators in that they can be rotated much faster. This allows the alternators to begin charging at lower engine RPM.

The only factors I can see that might affect battery life are a generator’s inability to keep a battery charged in stop-start driving, leading to sulfation, (!) and an incorrectly calibrated voltage regulator that can either undercharge or overcharge the battery.

Alternators are several orders of magnitude more reliable than generators.

Automobile manufacturers often put batteries near exhaust manifolds. That is just plain dumb. The regulator does not “know this”, so the battery ends up being severely battered.,

Modern cars are festooned with current gulping gadgets that stay on 24/7. So the batteries end up being discharged, often at more than 50 mA continuously. The self discharge of a modern battery is overwhelmed by this drain and the battery ends up permanently undercharged. This can reduce battery life to under 2 years. The battery manufacturers love it. The automobile manufacturers could not care less. This is bad engineering and the consumer is therefore being deliberately ripped off.

On January 27, 2012 at 3:28am
Andersen Chong wrote:

Good day, very interesting topic, Hi John, i am setup a hybird 1kw solar and 1kw wind system in my house running with 24 system, day time are running with direct grid tie inverter to reduce the amp from the fit, and once the battery fully charges sunlight down then will change to pure.true sine inverter to supply all lights and elctronic system, this process is running every day and times,  John, please kindly consult me, if the system like above, what type of the batteries is suitable for me? Battery cost are really killing me if i choose the wrong type for my need. Thank you so much in advance. Cheers to going green.

On January 27, 2012 at 4:41am
John Fetter wrote:


There is only one type of battery that is (a) economical enough and (b) technically suited, both at the same time, to daily deep cycling. Old fashioned, flooded lead-acid motive power.

There are three varieties. (1) The old fashioned golf-cart type; (2) the American flat-plate-positive type; (3) the European tubular-positive-plate type. They get more expensive from (1) to (2) to (3). The first will last two+ years, the second six+ years and the third type will last 10 years.

Lead-acid motive power does not mind being partially or totally discharged. By totally I mean down to 1.75V/cell or 20% state-of-charge. You absolutely MUST ensure the batteries reach 100% gassing charge, (2.55V/cell), at least once every two to three weeks. You will need to water the batteries from time to time. Amazingly, most, (not all), users in the USA, South Africa, Australia use tap water! I recommend inexpensive deionized or reverse osmosis.

Do not, I repeat, do not believe the people that tell you that VRLA, sealed, maintenance-free batteries are suitable.

On January 27, 2012 at 12:24pm
matej wrote:

Bevan. And what is your peak current at those 880kHz? At least roughly..?

I have tested circuits at hundreds of kilohertz as well, even at several MHz but they did not produce better results than the unit I currently use.
Are you measuring the specific gravity of the batteries you rejuvenate? Is it rising as you pulse? Your results are really lightning-fast,

Are you using inductive or capacitive pulses, and positive or negative (into or out of the battery)? With sharp <100ns or soft edges? Could you maybe share the schematic?
Mine (the one I talked about) is just an ordinary boost converter powered by a LC low pass filter from the battery being desulfated .. Just like the old Alastair Couper design, but more powerful. And the electrical efficiency is about 90%.
I have tested circuits at hundreds of kilohertz as well, even at several MHz but they did not produce better results than the unit I currently use. In one experiment, pulsing the battery at 16kHz has brought SG from 1,18 to 1,22 in three days but then suddenly stopped rising, after few days of no progress I tried to retune the pulser to 12kHz and the SG started to rise again and needed about 5 days to stop at 1,25 - 1,26. So now I am using frequencies from 1kHz to 12kHz with good results.
Are you measuring the specific gravity of the batteries you rejuvenate? Is it rising as you pulse? Your results are really lightning-fast .. maybe it is really the calcium insulating layer you are treating .. but if you measure SG and it rises as you pulse, it is sulfation, i think John would agree ..??

On January 27, 2012 at 4:00pm
John Fetter wrote:

Battery plates in sulfuric battery acid have a nanoscopically thin surface or boundary layer that presents capacitively. (This can be exploited by introducing activated carbon into the negative plates, turning the lead-acid battery into an ultra- or super-capacitor.)

I am guessing. I suspect that high frequency pulsing simply charges and discharges this “capacitor” in ordinary lead-acid batteries, sapping energy from the pulses. So reducing the pulse rate probably makes more energy available to do the job at hand.

The battery Matej describes was obviously in a discharged state and the pulsing caused it to become charged. However, I think the battery had both an oxide layer problem and was in a reversible sulfation condition at the same time. I suspect a couple of hours of pulsing, followed by straight charging would have sorted it out.

On January 28, 2012 at 12:25am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John & Matej- all I know is how to get more life out of batts- I do not know if calcium or other material is being used in plates- the manu does not say usually! As to sg- this is a oxymoron!- & completely irrelevant to wla batt life! As is o/c term voltage! I have had a car batt that started my car for 5 years once a week- long runs- the o/c v were 12’2v- yet that batt started that car reliably time & again! It failed with an o/c cell eventually. I have a batt from the tip that the sg says is dead flat!-yet that batt puts out 200 amps with very little volt drop! Ocv is 12v5(fully charged). So my friends- what the books say & what is real are different things!. Matej- the circuit I used to build my zapper came from Silicon Chip magazine- but I used my own up rated parts wired direct- eg- they had 100v mos-n-fet I used 500v- etc-etc-etc- the circuit is inductively coupled using my own wound air inductor of about 100uH. Download circuit from SC website. Another question for the expert John- there used to be batt recond places that would sell one a recond batt for say $20 at time when new was say $120- WITH 3 MONTH WARRANTY. I saw what they did- got lots of batts- put em on high charge rate- those that charged up- they tipped old electrolyte out- refilled with new electrolyte- seemed to work for while!. Any scientific validity to what they did? Cheers- Bevan.

On January 28, 2012 at 1:50am
matej wrote:

Hi Bryan.So you pulse mainly car batteries? I mostly do the deep cycle batts from PV , UPS systems etc. Yes I can agree that o.c. voltage is not very relevant, as it is also temperature dependant etc. But I really have experience that SG is very relevant in terms of battery Ah capacity - this is not only theory from a book, but mainly my own experience with many, mostly deep cycle batts: Battery that has low SG when fully charged, does have low Ah capacity. I have never had a battery that has low SG and has good Ah capacity. It seems that the capacity is roughly proportional to SG of the weakest cell: 1,15 -little or no Ah capacity to 1,28 -full Ah capacity .
When SG is low, the CCA (cold cranking amperage, that’s what starts the car) is also lowered but even this lowered rate might be enough to start a car fine: Actually right now I am pulsing a 60Ah car battery, that has 5 cells at 1,24 and one at 1,20 and still started the engine normally with no problems. But there were some problems with the engine recently - it won’t start and that is where they found the battery has low capacity - it will crank only for few seconds. They had to keep it on a charger constantly when they serviced the engine.
So I really believe that SG is very relevant to battery Ah capacity - I believe if you would do the Ah tests in deep cycle batteries, you will find the same.

On January 28, 2012 at 1:59am
matej wrote:

John - the battery I described was definitely NOT in a discharged state - it had OC of 12,8V right before pulsing started and this did not change after pulsing, yet the SG and Ah capacity changed dramatically. But yes there might be the oxide layer problem too, who knows, but SG measurements before and after pulsing clearly say it was mainly sulphation.
Prior to pulsing I always put the batteries on 13,7V for at least 24hrs, but mostly two-three days at room temperature, before doing any measurements and pulsing.

On January 28, 2012 at 4:58am
Andersen wrote:

- John,

Thanks for fast respone, so you means even AGM & gel series battery is not good as the batt you had mention?

The 1st you mention for the life time are too short.. 2 years average, overall, i did not saves, the 2nd, will not save as much.. 3rd is too expensive…

Especially all batteries are imported, our government tax is blood sucker, all oversea imported batteries price so high price here… So upsad.

On January 28, 2012 at 5:14am
John Fetter wrote:


I believe 13.7V is no more than a high float voltage. It does not charge a battery in the accepted sense. A battery that reads 12.8V could be at full state-of-charge or at full state-of-discharge, depending on a number of factors. Battery voltage is meaningless when measured or expressed arbitrarily. (This is more fully described on evbatterymonitoring.com - a website run by a well known state-of-charge instrument manufacturer.)

Did you treat your battery to 13.7V prior to measuring 12.8V? That would definitely give you a false indication of the condition of the battery.

Sulfation defines the battery plates as functionally inoperative. This must be reflected by a much lower than normal battery voltage.

Logically, if you apply 13.7V to a sulfated battery, then disconnect and the voltage stays at 12.8V, the battery either was not sulfated or became desulfated in the process. The voltage of a sulfated would collapse on disconnection.

The information you present regarding SG fits a situation involving (a) a battery that is simply discharged or (b) a battery with an oxide layer problem.

On January 28, 2012 at 5:43am
John Fetter wrote:

Andersen - the AGM and gel are twice as expensive and quarter to an eighth as good as flooded lead-acid. I personally would definitely use Trojan golf-cart batteries or any other brand that uses rubber based separators. I would not touch batteries with polyethylene separators. If you are terribly worried about cost, give plenty of extra TLC to the batteries you use. You might then get 6 years out of your golf-cart batteries, or even much more.

On January 28, 2012 at 7:15am
matej wrote:

John:  Yes I did charge the battery at 13,7V for 3 days at room temperature, which according to vast majority of commercial lead-acid battery datasheets leads to full charge. Actually they mostly specify 100% charge in 20hrs. Most UPS systems use only float voltage charging at 13,5 to 13,6V (room temp). Then, I completely disconnect the battery and leave it like that at room temperature for several hours to stabilize. Then and only then I measure SG, voltage, capacity test etc.
In the early stages of my experiments I also tried to charge with higher than float voltage, 14,4V and more .. but this did not lead to any significant improvement in capacity or specific gravity. Many times it only colored the acid to dark red or brown, and caused the acid to smell bad.
Where did you get the information that “Sulfation defines the battery plates as functionally inoperative. This must be reflected by a much lower than normal battery voltage.” ??
That is completely false in terms of o.c. voltage. It only applies if the voltage is tested under load, which is not what I’ve been talking about. Sulfation - partial coverage of plates by crystallized lead sulfate -  reflects to increased battery resistance and lower capacity. That may reflect to lower voltage of battery UNDER LOAD. But it has nothing to do with open-circuit voltage. I thought you know this, you really surprise me now.

I already wrote that stabilized o/c voltage of sulfated (small Ah capacity) and desulfated (good Ah capacity) is virtually the same. I have had several 100Ah batteries that had only 2-3 Ah EACH as per C/20 load test. They have been left totally discharged for more than 2 weeks. They were measuring stabilized 13,0 - 13,1V OPEN CIRCUIT, just as almost any fully charged 12V battery i have had. None of many charging attempts of mine or their former owner were successful. After I popped the covers, SG was 1,18 in the weakest cells. After pulsing for 2 weeks the SG of weakest cells rose to 1,24 and the C/20 capacity of one battery was 38Ah, the other 48Ah. The stabilized voltage was still in the range 13,0 - 13,1V !!
They were already returned to the PV system they came from, as the renewed capacity is satisfactory for their owner.

You obviously try, for some reason, to undermine the concept of pulse desulfation while continually ignoring the main proof of this concept that I have mentioned several times: Specific Gravity of sulfated battery being charged with DC voltage for days, does not increase or only little, but with pulsing it increases much more, many times to 1,28 or close to that.

You never tried to explain this, so please do before commenting on pulsing as ineffective in sulfation removal.

On January 28, 2012 at 7:55am
Andersen wrote:

- John,
May i know what is TLC? Just add it in for every cell? Thanks

On January 28, 2012 at 9:08am
John Fetter wrote:

Anderson - absolutely yes. TLC stands for Tender Love and Care.

On January 28, 2012 at 9:10am
John Fetter wrote:

Sorry, I meant Andersen.

On January 28, 2012 at 9:21am
John Fetter wrote:


On application of 13.7V, if a battery is NOT sulfated it CAN accept a charge. If a battery IS sulfated it CANNOT accept a charge. By definition. Electrochemistry 101.

On January 29, 2012 at 9:16pm
Andersen wrote:

Good day, John,

Finally i found the Trojan batteries distributor in my country, may i get your consult again? Which modal of Trojan flooded battery to suit for my 24v system and plan like last times i said. And i am also worry, i keep my batteries at indoor inside my storeroom, i am afraigh the gas will BOOM my store.. \_/

On January 30, 2012 at 2:03am
John Fetter wrote:


I keep batteries indoors, on charge, in a store. So what. You can ask for flame arrestors as well as auto filling if you are that way inclined. I personally would not bother. I cannot advise you on battery rating. Trojan have a solar, wind advisory department. Search trojan batteries flame barrier, etc., etc. I would use T105 or similar. They will try to sell sealed types. Refuse. Do not allow yourself to be their AGM/gel guinea pig.

On January 30, 2012 at 10:33am
Andersen wrote:

Good day, John,

Thanks for so many prompt reply, today i look at my store, i have many SLA battery, i am wonder if i can open the top cap, and fill in distill water or table salt, do you think will be work better?

On January 30, 2012 at 2:37pm
John Fetter wrote:

Andersen, I would use only distilled water.

On January 31, 2012 at 1:48am
matej wrote:

Andersen, as John says. I would also not use anything but distilled (or osmotic) water. Yes you can open the top cap on SLA (VRLA), that is what I do often. However with new battery, which you do not charge with higher current than C/10 and do not let it stand discharged and thus sulfate, you have one or two years minimum before water needs to be added. Just do a capacity test every few months, if capacity is >80% I would not open the caps. Maybe just few days of electrical pulsing will recondition it close to 100% again.

On January 31, 2012 at 5:39am
John Fetter wrote:

Once upon a time the battery industry actually made good batteries. Their ONLY disadvantage was that they needed watering. Then the industry came up with a maintenance-free concept - saying the automobile manufacturers were demanding maintenance-free. Yet cars still needed water for the radiator, oil for the engine and air for the tires.

The electrochemistry in maintenance-free sealed lead-acid must be run in a very peculiar way in order to stop the batteries drying out. Gassing can be reduced, never eliminated. So what they do is they hold the electrolyte in glass fiber matting or gel that has minute cracks all over. The oxygen that is given off by the positives travels via the matting or the cracks in the gel to the negatives, where it combines with the hydrogen that is given off, to form water. Sounds like a brilliant idea until it becomes apparent this recombination activity discharges the negative plates! You can charge and charge and charge. The negatives will always be partially discharged. Guess what! The negatives sulfate up!

The positives of batteries made long ago were made of lead-antimony alloy - the new ones are made with lead-calcium alloy. This helps to reduce gassing but introduces all kinds of extra problems. These grids cannot tolerate overcharging. They cannot tolerate overdischarging. The grids either fall apart or they develop “open circuit”, an oxide layer that leaves the active material isolated.

I was involved in a project to build the biggest battery in the world. When people have to spend tens of millions of dollars on a battery installation, they generally try to do their best. The battery was run from the local 220KV grid, via transformers and inverters. It had a capacity of 40MW-h. Used for load-leveling in California. It was charged during the night, discharged during the day. The battery absolutely had to be designed for maximum life. The design life was 4000 deep cycles. The cells were the same size as submarine battery cells. The positives were American flat-plate with grids made of lead-antimony-arsenic. The negatives had lead-calcium alloy. The separators were made of porous rubber/ glass fiber. The electrolyte was liquid and the battery was filled with watering caps. It got me interested in finding commercially viable ways of making batteries last longer, (without the use of arsenic and with only the lowest percentage antimony)

I am not expressing metely an opinion when I recommend flooded motive power batteries for cycling in wind and solar.

On February 16, 2012 at 1:01am
N.senthil wrote:

Dear sir
          I am using 54v 300ah vrla battery bank out door. I don’t have backup I found that some cells are faulty it discharging soon for that cells can I add distilled water and charge

On February 17, 2012 at 11:16pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

If your cells have removable tops-check electrolyte level (if your cells are flooded) if not flooded- nothing you can do- except find reason for failure- remove each cell to check- if o/c failure- zapper can work- also sulphation failure- as has been said many times- SLA incl VRLA have limited life- esp if deep cycled! ( though label may state differently!). If electrolyte level is below plates, only add enough low ppm water to cover just - charge- when fully chgd- top up( electrolyte level rises with charge). General advice without seeing your batt/s- setup.

On February 18, 2012 at 1:59am
John Fetter wrote:

N.senthil: I agree with Bevan Paynter. I should point out that without knowing the age of your batteries, others are unable to work out the cause of the problem. Batteries age, like people. Have accidents or pass away, like people.

On July 6, 2012 at 5:40am
Oscar Ormond wrote:

Just spent a few hrs looking at websites run by battery rejuvinating franchise operators. If their desulfaters are really as good as they claim, why are they so desparate for total strangers from other cities and other countries to sign up to promote it?

They say people who want to set up with their spesial units must first be trained, have spesial quality control, keep records, receive a certifecate. Hey, to charge any battery plug in, switch on. big deal

If their stuff really works, why are they not running big service centers in their home towns. ANSWER. Their stuff does not work!!!!  They want the people that get mad with them to be far away, that’s why.

On July 7, 2012 at 12:47am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Oscar, my own experiments have told me that desulfators or pulsers are usually a waste of time on sulfated batts- but may work on oxide filmed batts. Really, the only life extension of any batt is to never over discharge,overcharge, or let terminal voltage drop to where sulfation or other growth on plates occurs. That said, batts have a certain life- it can be as short as 3 months or as long as 10 years depending on above care regimes. Yes, batt desulfator sellers have an agenda to sell their product(for profit!- not to help you!- same as batt additive sellers!) I just ran an experiment on a car batt 4 year old, used only once a month to start a car & then a long run- should have been as new(no discharges-older car)- on start @ month was getting more sluggish- then ok. Removed- octv (OPEN CIRCUIT TERM VOLTAGE) was 12,38v- put on charge to equalize-destratify- octv still low - added 1 level teaspoon of magnesium sulphate to 2 cells- 1 level teaspoon of dcbla to 2 cells(dicarboxylic acid)- 2 cells untreated- charged- no change in octv or sg(specific gravity)- added 15ml of INOX batt conditioner to 2 untreated cells- charged- next day the 2 Inox cells had sg of 1.273!(AS new!)- added Inox to last 4 cells- charged - next day ALL had sg 1.273!- & octv 12.8v! Now- how did this as new sg & octv relate to starting performance?- not very much at all! Which means a waste of time trying to get as new performance out of an old batt! Previous to this, I emptied electrolyte out of 3 diff car batts (@ charging) added 1 lev teaspoon dcbla to each cell & filled with rain water-after foaming stopped, tipped out mixture & added new electrolyte- charged- a great improvement(octv rose from 12.2v to 12.5v- hltv(high load term voltage) rose from 10v to 11v(under 200 amp load). Will next try adding Inox to these 3 car batts to see if improves or worsens! With car starter batts it is important to get data of what batt is like before doing anything- use a dmm(digital volt meter) connected to car batt(cig lighter socket) to see exactly what batt volts drop to under starter load- lower the drop worse off batt is- then try what ever & recheck!

On July 7, 2012 at 2:57am
John Fetter wrote:

Beval - Inox mx2 is made by Candan Industries Pty Ltd., a specialist lubricant manufacturer located in Loganholme, Brisbane, Australia. It consists of 5 percent cadmium sulfate, the rest mainly water. The cadmium electroplates out onto the sulfated non-functioning negative plates, covering specific areas of the plates with a thin film of cadmium metal, thus giving the battery cells temporary-working cadmium negative plates. After that the battery can be charged. But it will be capable of delivering very little long-term ampere-hours.

Cadmium was tried by the very early battery manufacturers. It achieved nothing of practical benefit so they gave it up. After that, the bring-back-to-life merchants began using it. They claim it cures sulfation. That is a fantasy. All it does is give a battery a few temporary ampere-hours. Cadmium cures have been around for over 100 years.

On July 7, 2012 at 3:01am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - I apologize - I wrote Beval instead of Bevan. Better buy some reading glasses!.

On July 7, 2012 at 1:58pm
Oscar Ormond wrote:

Thanx Bevan. Hey John, i looked up cadmium sulfate. this stuff is realy dangerous. Its poisonous and causes cancer. Battery Equaliser and Candan Enterprizes both sells this stuff to ordnary people who don’t know how dangerous it is. It sofens your bones man and they just break when you try stand up.

On July 8, 2012 at 1:18pm
John Fetter wrote:

Oscar - One of the most dangerous things any one can undertake is to be be born. That has a greater than 99% risk of dying over the next 100 year period. Flying has never been shown to be even remotely dangerous - it becomes dangerous only when the plane does not land properly. The lead in lead-acid batteries becomes very dangerous when eaten, the acid becomes very dangerous when drunk. There are one billion of these things being driven around the face of this planet, no one seems adversely affected. Try not to drink the cadmium sulfate. It is surprisingly easy not to.

On July 8, 2012 at 11:36pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- one would think that the suppliers of cadmium sulphate should have a poison label attached, & that the 95% of water should not be coloured a pretty blue/green! Now- suppliers say reverses sulphation- my sg readings agree- or is that mixture a sg improver?ie, if an amount added to water-sg 1.00- raises sg thus? Guess only trying this out will settle the question! Otherwise, John, I would have to think that this stuff really dissolves sulphation! I will carry out further experiments when i get some more mx2. What I do know for sure is that carboxylic acid(EDTA is a form) lowers sg by chelating the sulphation present in plates- so one has to refill with new electrolyte. ( to get   octv & sg as original). IF mx2 works!-would save a bit of mucking around to get otherwise lost batt useful life!. Bevel.

On July 9, 2012 at 1:53am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - I did the experiment. Tried cadmium sulfate. I built a battery cell in a glass jar so that I could see what was going on, rather than wearing a blindfold working on a conventional opaque case battery.
The negative plate changed, from the bottom up, gradually into a more metallic looking plate. The on-charge cell voltage did not seem to change but when I stopped charging, the cell voltage stayed above 2.35V for many hours.
After charging a little more, the bottom of the negative plate began to develop mossing, also called dendrites, that spread out.
So I tried discharging the cell. Most of the moss seemed to disappear but some had broken off and was left behind.
What I saw suggests that the cadmium provides a substitute for the lead/ lead sulfate that is in the negative plates, helping to charge the positives. That would certainly help to raise the electrolyte SG and should be good enough to crank an engine.
I have been unable to ascertain, thus far, whether cadmium sulfate gets rid of sulfation but I am working on it.
My results seem to indicate that brand new lead-acid batteries treated with cadmium sulfate will deliver more amps for cranking engines.

On July 9, 2012 at 11:36pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- dendrites were a problem with NiCd batts/cells- shorting em out- I used to blast s/c cell with 330v from flash cap- worked! It is interesting that cathode & anode of normal cells is opposite with lead acid batts! Incidentally, mx2 container DOES have poison label & advice for treatment if “accidently swallowed!”!  A source of cadmium would seem to be old NiCd cells/batts! Cut em open very carefully- avoid breathing any vapour or skin contact!

On July 13, 2012 at 1:20am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - A few days ago I was cleaning out my accumulated battery junk and came across some leftovers from experiments I had conducted towards the end of 2007. A plastic bucket filled with discarded battery acid and discarded battery plates.
I had received some individual battery plates from four different manufacturers on which to conduct some experiments. When I was finished with them I put them all into the bucket - and forgot about them.
After finding the bucket it began to dawn on me that there was a possibility the plates it contained might actually have become valuable due to the time they had been sitting in the acid. The first thing I did was to measure the acid SG. It was 1.285. After more than four years - obviously become totally sulfated.
I carefully took out the plates and lay them down in a row on some newspaper.
Some were flat, some slightly buckled, some severely buckled. Positives and negatives alike.
On careful inspection I discovered all the buckled plates had buckled in the same direction. Away from the side from which they had been pasted. Some plates had extra active material on the pasting side. The thicker this extra layer, the more buckled the plates. The plates that appeared to have been pasted to equal thicknesses on both sides were flat.
Lead sulfate takes up more space than healthy active material, causing the plates to expand - and some to buckle. Expansion through a chemical reaction can develop gigantic pressures that easily punch through separators, cause battery terminals to lift and battery cases to balloon.
Simple experiment, profound implications. Surely if manufacturers pasted the plates to an even thickness on both sides, designed connectors to cope with expansion, battery failures would come right down?
Now that I have sulfated plates with a known history, I can test all the popular desulfation cures with 100% confidence.

On July 14, 2012 at 12:12am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- batt electrolyte is 1.285 in bucket then plates are not sulphated- all else being equal! In a batt electrolyte is 1.26-1.27 if batt is fully charged- ie all acid is in water- if batt fully discharged electrolyte sg is 1.00- ie all acid is in plates(0v octv). So are you saying plates were all flat 4 years ago? & it is the fact that they have been sitting doing nothing that has warped them? Yes- sulphation warps plates- usually positive- crystals build up, warping, puncturing seperators, shorting out, bulging case ends, disintegrating pos grid connections. If more material has been plated on one side than the other, then it is obvious that MORE crystals will build up there! So because of neighbouring neg plate, the warp force will take the easiest way out! If you want to demonstrate the efficacy of desulphation methods, then you need what the average owner has- ie a sulphated batt that will not deliver previous starting amps!- though said owner/s have done nothing wrong according to batt manufacturers! The crime is the batt is more than 2 years old! From the birth of lead acid batts, there have been ads to buy this/that to rejuvenate your batt!- much the same chemicals used as now! I can state that there ARE NO magic formulas to fix your batt- the batt manu,s have tried em all in interest of market share! gUESS there are those among us who wish for a miracle- remember when I thought that electrolysis of water to produce on demand hydrogen to run ICE worked! It,s ALL been tried before folks! IF these fads worked- they would ALL be standard- folks!.

On July 14, 2012 at 1:42am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - The plates were sitting at the bottom of a plastic bucket filled with battery acid. The water in the acid evaporated over time, raising the SG, until evaporation ceased. This is a well documented characteristic of battery acid. The high SG promotes sulfation. The plates remained totally submerged and are therefore guaranteed 100% sulfated. And their history is known to me with 100% certainty.
The plates were free to move as they buckled. Therefore I was able to make an important observation about the exact way they buckle that would have been impossible had the plates been located inside a battery.
I assembled one of the sulfated negatives and a proven healthy positive into a battery
cell, in a glass jar and connected to a power source. The voltage rose to the limit I had preset = 2.6V and the current sat at just a few milliamps. (I use an electronic regulated power supply.) Twenty-four hours later a few more milliamps but otherwise no joy. It would not charge. The negative grid was gassing and that was the only area causing the few milliamps to flow. The active material simply sat there. This example negative plate was very definitely sulfated.
The reason why I did not test a positive plate from the bucket, together with the negative is because positive plate sulfation is easily reversible.
Next, I tested the effect of cadmuim sulfate. Very interesting result. Cadmium metal electroplated onto the negative grid, grew dendrites. The cell began to draw some current. After a few hours the cell stabilized. So I gave it a discharge test. I got 10% of the factory rated ampere-hours. Did it again. Still got 10%. I did notice the open circuit voltage of the cell was HIGHER than normal, likely because of the on-plated cadmium. (The electrochemical potential for lead is -0.1262, cadmium is -0.4030.) The sulfated active material just sat there doing nothing. If this had been a fully assembled car battery, it would DEFINITELY have cranked the engine and started it. But it would have been incapable of doing anything beyond that.
I intend to run many more experiments until I have gone through all the plates I salvaged from the bucket.

On July 16, 2012 at 12:07am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Thanks John- very interesting.  I am still playing around with std car batts that have elevated self discharge due to sulphation- you know- charges up ok, then a few days later octv of say 12.4v instead of std 12.6v- ends of case slightly bulgy. I put em on 16v charge for while, check sg, then tip out old electrolyte. flush out batt with rain water twice, refill, add 1 level teaspoon carboxylic acid per cell- put on 16v charge. Foams up- after couple hours of alternating charge & sitting there, bubbling slows down, 16v charge draws less amps, charge volts drop, pressing in on case ends sends bubbles up, ends are now level. can now tip out mixture, flush out twice with rain water, then add new std electrolyte 34% sulphuric acid, put batt on charge std 14.4v- when amps have dropped to minimum- batt is as fully charged as it’s design intends(these starter batts are lossy from new!). Several days later if octv are 12.6>, batt puts out say 11v at 200 amps, batt has been rescued! I have found that the latest fad so-called desulphators(pulsers) are a gimmick where real sulphation is involved- takes weeks!- where they do work is where the fault is an insulating layer of oxide After all , a battery can be looked on as a giant capacitor- how can a layer of pulses penetrate deeply enough to do anything- especially as powered from batt itself! The apparent reason why generator charge systems allowed car batts to last twice as long is I believe that the gen charge was a square wave with hash, due to sparking etc at brushes. This allowed batts to charge better, & also tended to disperse sulphation on plates..

On July 16, 2012 at 1:28am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - I have continued charging and discharging the same sulfated, cadmium-sulfate-treated plate six times. A new plate of this kind has a capacity of 9 ampere-hours. I finally managed to reach 3 ampere-hours. I could see the improvements began to level out during the fifth and sixth cycle. If this happened to a car battery, I can see that this would be enough to make the average, unsuspecting car owner happy. I have no doubt this battery would deliver ample starting current. However, the battery would still be two-thirds sulfated and would definitely not last more than a few months after treatment.
I am curious to know which carboxylic acid you use. Vinegar or acetic acid, is a carboxylic acid. Soap, which is predominantly palmitic and stearic acid, is a carboxylic acid. The carboxylic acids that are solid are surfactants.
There appears to be a tremendous amount of physical activity involved in making these batteries work again -  if you take actual labor cost into account, it makes very little sense.

On July 16, 2012 at 11:50pm
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - I have removed the negative plate I “revived” with cadmium sulfate from the cell. Carefully examined it in very bright light to see which areas of the plate were charged. This can actually be seen with the naked eye by the appearance of lead, which has a different color to lead sulfate.
To my surprise the lead formed alternating bands of equal width with the lead sulfate. The bands are about 50% wider than the grid spacing and run in the same direction as the pasting. This suggests the manufacturer of the battery did not mix the paste thoroughly.
I suspect the areas that were successfully charged contain the most carbon black.

On July 17, 2012 at 12:04am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- the name of the product is LO-Chlor multi-stain remover- a powder- cost me $28 for a kg at a swimming pool chemical supplier-98%dicarboxylic acid complex- it definitely removes sulphation from batt internals- after treatment as I said, can see pos plates- brown- neg plates-grey. Not much labor involved- just tip out contents a few times- refill- charge.As to longevity- that is to be still ascertained- I have only been using this procedure for about a month- the batts I have treated & are using in my cars are excellent now(2 of)- octv rose from 12.28 & 12.3v to 12.7v. The batt I treated using mx2 cadmium sulphate I don’t know(another car)- octv rose- ultv seemed to slightly fall- time will tell in all cases!. Yes batts are so cheap these days- hardly worth playing around with them- but guess I have that type of personality- an enquiring mind. And if my type of treatment works, & if others apply- can only be beneficial to environement.

On July 17, 2012 at 2:07am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - Here is something that defies established understanding about sulfation. The color of the active material in sulfated negative plates is CHARCOAL, not white!!!
A white lead sulfate precipitate definitely covers just about everything inside the cells, but that seems merely incidental.
I have seen it stated many times that this coating is responsible for all the problems. I decided to find out if this white stuff is as impermeable as people claim it is. I opened a badly sulfated battery, let it dry and using an eye dropper put drops of water onto the worst of the dried white affected areas. The water was absorbed faster than as if I had I dropped it on newspaper. This would seem to indicate the white sulfate is HIGHLY PERMEABLE.
Lead sulfate precipitate is white - its surface reflects light. Lead sulfate in the form of ordered crystals are charcoal - their surfaces to not reflect light.
Washing out that white stuff makes the battery look better. I am not sure whether it helps to make it work better.

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. (Galileo Galilei)
If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old you don’t understand it yourself. (Albert Einstein)

On July 17, 2012 at 11:45pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Yes John- but the white stuff that washes off is not the stuff that causes hard, insoluble crystals- mainly on pos plates, that causes s/c & case swelling- or is it more correct to say that the white stuff is an early form of the hard stuff. Well this stuff I used restored the swollen case at both ends to a flat surface- so I would have to say that it definitely gets rid of hard lead sulphate crystals- in about 2 hours.It’s a pity that Einstein couldn’t work out a theory of everything- but then neither can anyone else!

On July 18, 2012 at 12:43am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - Seasoned battery experts all agree that sulfation in the positive plates is fully reversible. Sulfation in the negatives can be difficult to impossible to reverse. Sufate crystals are bulky, the pasting usually asymmetric, hence the plates warp.
If you dissolve the lead sulfate and wash out the battery, you end up with a battery with little or no active material in the plates. The battery will have been desulfated. It will also have been “debatteried”.

On July 21, 2012 at 2:40pm
John Fetter wrote:

I have just finished testing a popular make of industrial lead-acid battery pulse desulfator. Two 15 A-h cells that had been stored unused for three years, refused to take charge when hooked to a conventional charger. Applied 2.6V per cell, current refused to build up, showing the cells were deeply sulfated.
This particular pulse charger was designed to work with a wide variety of batteries, voltages, currents. Connected the pulse charger and immediately the batteries began to accept charging current. Average voltage 2.7V, peak pulse voltage 3.15V, average current 2.7A. The batteries gassed furiously.
On discharge test, cell 1 gave 1 ampere-hour, cell 2 gave slightly less than 3 ampere-hours. My sulfated test cells had not recovered.
I am not claiming pulsing does not work. I am, however, saying pulsing is unlikely to desulfate a battery. Pulsing most likely does something else inside a battery.

On August 26, 2012 at 1:09am
John Fetter wrote:

I am an electronics nerd. I just happen to enjoy experimenting and lead-acid batteries provide an ideal subject for research with a focus on physics rather than on chemistry.
The owner of the industrial lead-acid battery pulse desulfator wanted his machine back promptly after I had done my testing, probably because I had found it wanting.
So I went ahead and designed and built my own pulser. I had been working on small, 1.5 Ah single cells, so I purpose designed the pulser for these cells. The pulser produces 10 volt, 10 microsecond pulses at somewhere in the region of 10 amps and at a 2 kilohertz rate.
It charges my 1.5 Ah cells beautifully. But most of the pulsing energy is getting lost in the wiring. I put my oscilloscope probe across the output of the pulser, saw 10V. Put it directly across the cell and there was only 3.5V. Then I made a special acid-proof extension to the oscilloscope probe, put it into the electrolyte of the cell and measured what was going on between the plates, near the plates and on the plates, etc. from the inside.
I saw nothing out of the ordinary. The pulsing produced above average voltages that were all in correct proportion.
I ran one cell with a sulfated negative plate on pulsing, another with a sulfated plate on pure direct current charging. After one week, cannot see any special advantage in pulsing. All of that can still change. I am patient.

On August 27, 2012 at 11:54pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- what horsepital are you a patient in?(only yolking!) The benefit of a desulfator is that it can “persuade” recalcitrant batts to accept a charge or else!! Talking bout genuwine sulphated batts here folks! Measure maybe 0.5 volt open circuit!!! AND not your so-called electronic pulsed desulphators!!- they have VERY little use!!! But 240v dc works wonders!!!! Just today had 6v sla vrla measuring 0.2v- put electric d/s on- volts rose to 112v-@ 5min came back to 73v- then smoke came from neg post- terminated attempt. Cut open- completely sulphated up & pos plate disintegration- put into tip bag. Other batts have been rejuvenated, but depends on degree of sulphation(only!)

On August 28, 2012 at 4:14am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - What can I say? My suggestion to readers: Whatever you do - don’t try Bevan’s recommendation at home. Six volt batteries usually explode when connected directly to 240 volts dc.

On August 28, 2012 at 11:12pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- you are jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts- YES- unlimited 240vdc WOULD blow the !@#$$%%% outof 6-12v batts etc-BUT!- current is limited by inline resistor- chosen to give a selection of currents-eg 300mA,600mA, 1A,3A,6A, 8A. With a non- or lightly sulfated batt, volts at posts are much same as batt nom volts- batts are a giant capacitor! BUT! don’t touch posts!!- 240v dc is even more LETHAL than ac! Anyway, works really great to rescue otherwise doomed batts- the volts when 1st connected tells if batt can be rescued, or(as in case of 6v batt mentioned, is finished- if volts were say 66v & came down to 6-7v, batt is ok- 1st few minutes tells story.)

On August 29, 2012 at 12:20am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - This is an interesting subject. I responded to the information in the form you had presented it. Had you included the information about the resistors, I would have pointed out that it takes a spark created by a potential greater than 24V to ignite hydrogen, when it is present at an optimum concentration together with oxygen. The
current can be miniscule.
Batteries develop internal open circuits just often enough to cause explosions. At 12 volts, an open circuit is simply a nuisance. At 240 volts, regardless of your resistor, you run a high risk of finding out what it is like to be at the receiving end of a battery explosion.
Battery explosions are not uncommon. Submariners and miners will readily agree to that. Their batteries are high voltage. I have seen the consequences of some spectacular battery explosions. Every year automobile battery manufacturers have to deal with a surprisingly large number of claims from irate people who did something silly with their car batteries. They appear to be able to connect jumper leads in the strangest of ways, put their metal watch straps and items of jewelery, tools, etc. directly across a battery output, causing sparks, red-hot metal to cling to them, often leading to explosions and personal injury - in some cases the need of a new face. Hence the warning labels.

On August 29, 2012 at 11:16pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- thank you for info-so electronic pulsers-which use pulses at up to 1300v,repeated at say 1-2-more - Hz- are safe?!!!! Or are you saying that because pulsers are NOT dc but pulsed dc-are safe!? Now what makes you think that what I posted is not a pulsed dc device? You are guilty of jumping to conclusions without knowing all facts! Something which a tv/electronics technician with 50 years experience learned long,long ago!.

On August 30, 2012 at 12:11am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - Thank you for your interesting comments. Am I jumping to conclusions?
If you paint a picture in which you are applying 240V dc to a six volt battery, that is your picture, not my interpretation.
If you then paint an entirely new picture in which you are applying 240V dc via resistors, that is your picture, not my interpretation.
If you change your mind again, paint a picture in which pulses up to 1300V are applied, you are the one who (a) is painting the pictures, (b) keeps painting different pictures.
There are pulsing devices that discharge the energy stored in inductors into the batteries and pulsers that discharge the energy stored in capacitors into the batteries, repeatedly, in common use. The former capable of producing excess voltage across small gaps and capable of igniting hydrogen. The latter I witnessed in use.
One person’s 50 year experience does not equate to possession of universal wisdom.
I have spoken to a person who acquired holes in the face by an exploding battery, that had to be repaired by plastic surgeons.

On September 1, 2012 at 12:43am
John Fetter wrote:

In July, after I finished testing an industrial battery pulser, it occurred to me that perhaps simply switching a battery charger on and off might be worth investigating. I reasoned that the charger had to deliver at least 2.6V per cell. I built the cells with new positives and 100% sulfated negatives. The cells received a few hundred milligrams of cadmium each plus an electroplating additive compatible with lead-acid battery functioning, cadmium and sulfuric acid.
The per-cell voltage rose almost immediately to 2.6V, with very little current flowing. The charger was switched on for one hour, off for half an hour, repeatedly. After a few hours cadmium could be seen electroplating onto the negative grids. It took several days before the electroplating could be seen beginning to migrate into the sulfated active material. At the end of one week I was ready to give up. It looked as if nothing was happening anymore. I decided to carry on.
During the second week, there was a change. The electroplating began to grow in patches all over the negative plates. So I ran a discharge test. I measured nearly 50% of the original ampere-hours.
At the end of the third week virtually the entire negative surface was covered with cadmium. It looked untidy. Very fluffy. So I ran another discharge test and measured 100%.
Why did I switch the charger on and off? To encourage the cadmium that had been electroplated on last to redissolve in the acid, leaving behind an area of desulfated active material that would spread progressively farther into the deeply sulfated bulk when the charging recommenced.
Why did I use the electroplating additive? To prevent the cadmium electroplating predominantly onto the grids and to encourage it to spread into the sulfated bulk.
My previous attempts had been based on conventional methods. None of them had worked on 100 PERCENT SULFATED plates. This one had worked although it seems hardly worth all the effort.

On September 1, 2012 at 1:26am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John-you did WHAT!!!? Are you a brainiac or WHAT!!———————-what?  Folks, I have found that to make a car starter batt last for many,many years- it is necessary to remove it from vehicle after each run( I made quick detach system) & put on 14 v constant voltage charge- you will be astounded at amount of charge needed after LONG run in correctly functioning auto charge system- this is why batts sulfate up- & thus only have a short life. Big Jon, I have found that any additive is useless- but saw on CR4 today(Iam a long term member) that some poster said use baking powder(NOT baking soda)- said it works!- must try!!

On September 1, 2012 at 2:06am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - Again, what can I say. What I did was no more than to run an experiment to find out how far I could go with “desulfation”. That’s all there is to it.
I began using a permanent charger for my car many years ago. Simple. No need to disconnect the battery from the car. On connection, the charger measures the battery volts, decides if it must charge or float. It always ends up on float, at 13.5V. That voltage counteracts aux. equipment and keeps the battery in superb condition. Telephone exchange batteries are usually run at the exact equivalent 24 cell voltage. They can last 30 years. 14V makes the battery gas and is inclined over time to corrode the positives.
I prefer to work on big batteries.

On September 8, 2012 at 3:17am
John Fetter wrote:

RE: Aug 26 posting - Desulfation, pulsing vs direct current. High frequency pulsing 20% recovery, switching direct current on and off once per hour 30%. The cell receiving direct current is winning. I know pulsing can bring “tired” batteries back but what I have been seeing suggests the popular explanations need to be revised. .

On October 25, 2012 at 6:00am
Guina wrote:

Hello.. I have a simple question for a simple digital camera battery which I left charging at my office. My problem is I can only check it after 3 days long weekend. Is there any consequences in electricity when it is over charge? i’m worried that it will cause of fire. I would highly appreciate anyone’s advise. Thank you.

On October 26, 2012 at 5:31pm
RAMM wrote:

Even in the most sophisticated cells, efficiencies are never 100%. Explain why.

Many Thanks in advance

On October 27, 2012 at 1:49am
John Fetter wrote:

Henry Cavendish discovered that electrical current is proportional to potential difference. He forgot to publish his finding. Georg Ohm, 1789-1854, published his book entitled Die galvanische Kette mathematisch bearbeited, (The galvanic Circuit investigated mathematically), in 1827. Ohm was credited and the law was named after Ohm.

Directly and indirectly, circuit resistance causes batteries to be less than 100% efficient.

On November 20, 2012 at 7:40pm
Stuart wrote:

John/Bevan - thanks for all the great insight!  We’re setting up an experiment to test 3 desulfators using 6V 100AH [3DCU-9] clear case batteries.  We have 4 new and 15 used [partially sulfated?] for the test.  One question - can you suggest the best way to determine the capacity of the batteries so we can test capacity of the used batteries before and after processing with the desulfators?

On November 20, 2012 at 11:33pm
John Fetter wrote:

Stuart - Step 1. Charge the batteries. Then give them a slow 30% A-h overcharge to make absolutely certain they are 100% fully charged. Discharge one battery at a time with 0.2 ohm load. Should take about 2.5 hours down to 1.75V/cell. Measure actual time. The actual time taken for each battery can then be compared. That is all there is to it. Make sure the temperature is roughly the same for all the batteries.
I have become amazed by the tens of thousands of people all over the world, all looking for same desulfation pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. All looking around to see what other people are doing and then going ahead and doing exactly the same. The competition is horrendous.
It is not sulfation that ultimately determines lead-acid battery life but corrosion of the positive grids and subsequent shedding of the positive active material.
We are emotional creatures. The human mind readily accepts anecdotal information but resists factual information. Only a couple of hundreds of years ago sewerage flowed down the streets of Europe, into the rivers. People drank from these rivers. They refused to believe there could be dangerous substances in their drinking water. The stench became so bad, the building of sewerage systems was suggested to get rid of the smell, not to overcome the health problem. They were amazed to discover their health problems disappeared. I mention this not as a criticism but simply to explain the human mindset.

On November 21, 2012 at 7:03am
Stuart wrote:

Thanks John!  I’ll report back on our findings.  We have over 700 batteries in our Data Center UPS’s, CAT generators, etc. and some local guys have built a machine we’re testing alongside 2 “commercial” desulfator/rejuvenators.  For the record, I don’t expect them to work but seems like a fun experiment.
Do you have any confidence in any of the commercial load testers such as soctester.com?  I’m not an electrical expert - just very curious and willing to spend the time to run a proper test.

On November 21, 2012 at 11:50am
John Fetter wrote:

Stuart - If your objective is to make these batteries last longer, i would suggest you search on line for information on lead-acid battery corrosion control. I looked at the soctester.com website. It bombarded me with flashing images and I gave up.

On December 9, 2012 at 5:49am
Mike Mullins wrote:

A question ,  just curios I have some acid for a small aircraft battery and it is a different sg than for auto batteries. I am not going use it in auto but it brought a question to mind of the difference of the batteries. I am a a&p have not practice lately,  I think I use to know but now I ??? (Shows my age) sorry. Are old school batteries with Lead antimony available some where?

On December 11, 2012 at 12:56am
John Fetter wrote:

Mike Mullins - Different SG, same acid. Aircraft batteries are fundamentally the same as automobile batteries, just a lot more old fashioned due to all the regulations. Lead antimony that is still in volume production is mostly industrial.

On December 11, 2012 at 5:10pm
Mike Mullins wrote:

Thanks John, I guess I should have asked what is it in the batteries which specifically requires different sg acid not an important need just curious.
And went on the web site that sells charger-mantainer- desulfation. They are all over the fact that their unit desulfats and it is the largest reason for battery failure.  I know where you stand on the issue,  the hole subject is very interesting to me. Thanks for your response and insight.

On December 12, 2012 at 1:15am
John Fetter wrote:

Mike Mullins - You can expect batteries that are required to deliver very high currents for brief periods to have higher SGs - up to 1.320. The penalty is shorter life expectancy. Batteries intended for more leisurely applications have lower SGs. Car batteries between 1.260 and 1.280. Standby batteries 1.240. Lower SGs are sometimes used to help maximize battery life, especially in hot conditions.
Battery plates are made with materials that are batch produced. As expected, there are Monday morning batches and so on. (One example: All batteries include a small amount of a very important substance called lignosulfonate. It is made from trees. When different trees are used, battery quality changes. There are numerous other factors.) The variations result in plates that are not the same. Batteries made with these plates can include cells that are not matched. These cells end up with different SGs. Modern batteries are made to a price, not to an exact standard. Manufacturers will deny this, of course.
The vast majority of people who need a replacement battery for their car will buy the cheapest, (sorry, least expensive). They control the quality of batteries. Bargain hunters ensure that the quality sits on a threshold as close as possible before becoming garbage.

On December 12, 2012 at 4:17pm
Mike Mullins wrote:

Thanks John, very informative. I wish I were smart enough and young enough to be a good Chemist.

On December 12, 2012 at 5:14pm
John Fetter wrote:

Mike Mullins - I am definitely not a chemist. Power electronics is my game. Controlling 40 megawatts with the turn of a tiny potentiometer or a digital command. I found out by accident that I seemed to be able to understand the underlying principles of batteries and could make a living out of that knowledge.

On June 30, 2013 at 11:29pm
shahrukh wrote:

Pls do reply…ok my battery (mobile, li-ion) was in water for 5 days how can it recover & if not why????

On August 13, 2013 at 10:07am
Mike Steeves wrote:

Hello John, I have a 30 foot canoe on which I use a B&G 3 h.p.  electric motor powered by 4   batteries.When not in use, the batteries are charged with a 48 volt battery charger. I have had to replace several batteries over the years.  I continued to use my 48volt battery charger over the winter. One spring I ended up having to replace it ($600). This past winter, I did not charge the batteries and now they will not recharge.

On August 19, 2013 at 7:52am
Dandy wrote:

Can i restore my swollen blackberry battery ? if Yes how ??

On August 30, 2013 at 9:03pm
Mohsin qazi wrote:

Anybody can you tell me how to completely empty ups battery and wash it (by which liquid acid or water any other thing) and how to refill it by using 66% distilled water and 34% sulphuric acid by volume (i mean how to mix them) please help me what to do .Thanks.

On October 2, 2013 at 2:29am
Nollie wrote:

Can anybody tel me what is the formula of the EDTA

On October 2, 2013 at 11:29pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Ethylene Diamine Tetra-acetic acid or acetate- synthetic invented in Germany in 1930,s to replace citric acid which they had to import. All needed is chelator(which both are) which means clawing agent to dissolve sulphation- can use anything which promises to remove stains from pools etc- but only in moderation- 1 teaspoon per cell. Important to realise that the “clawing/ stripping action” actually removes the sulphated lead from plates! Which drop to bottom of case.

On October 10, 2013 at 11:18pm
Larry Jarrett wrote:

IF you want to make an old battery work better ,you can dump all the acid out mix 8 oz. of baking soda in 1 gal. of water. fill each cell with the baking soda mix and leave in until it quits bubbling.. now flush out the the battery at least 3 times but rock it back and fourth real good before dumping it each time. now mix 8 oz. of Alum ( the Pickling spice ) in 1 gal. of water and fill the cells. now put on charge. the battery will get stronger each time it is charged for a while. then level off. you can not check an alum charged batter with a ball float device as it will not have the same specific gravity as an acid filed battery. if you want to know more please contact me. this works very good as you can discharge the battery more the a lead acid battery and not hurt it.

On October 11, 2013 at 2:58am
John Fetter wrote:

Larry - Please would you like to explain for the benefit of the readers how this idea works in the battery and where you picked up this information.

On October 21, 2013 at 3:08am
shafiq wrote:

Please give me the formula to calculate the amperes of negative snd positive plate of tubular
Battery for inverter .depending upon the size of plate.

On October 21, 2013 at 6:33am
John Fetter wrote:

shafiq - It is interesting that you can see a connection between tubular plates and an inverter. Please explain.

On October 22, 2013 at 8:59am
gul murad musofer wrote:

here i need a help from you all. i have been given a task to check the the agm deep cycle battety that which battery is usable or which battery is dead in a big store . as that batteries are used . so how i check them ? through vmeter or hydomeyer?  or battey analizer? details of the battety are agm 70 ah 12v maintance freee. i need help from you all how to check all the battries?


On October 22, 2013 at 11:06pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Use dmm on dc volts- good batt is 12v8- lower is either not charged or is u/s thru sulphation or s/c or o/c cell/s. Can try charging each batt with 14v constant volt charger to see if improves. If you had impedance tester it would simplify task- simply put, a new/good batt would measure 4-6 milli Ohms- a bad batt would be say 9-+ milli Ohms.

On October 29, 2013 at 3:02pm
Sylvester Wijesinghe wrote:

I have been for last 50 years in Electrical Automotive and heavy Industry machinery field. Daily come across Battery problems. I find that lead acid batteries can be regenerated with Epsom Salt to last about 6 months or more. When battery fails to start engines.
Any one had tried this.

On October 29, 2013 at 4:04pm
Oscar Ormond wrote:

Dear Mr Sylvester Wijesinghe, Been there tried that found it didn’t work because it is an old wife’s tale. You must be another one of these magic potion experts trying to sell to unsuspecting customers.

On October 30, 2013 at 3:32pm
Sylvester Wijesinghe wrote:

Dear Mr Oscar Ormond, Yes you may be correct. I have tried this it worked to me for few used Batteries. Not for all what i tried. If newly removed from a vehicle it will work.After about 30 days or later they will not recover.
At the moment I use one battery which is regenerated after removing, in 14 days in my vehicle works very well. I only shared my experience, not to make money.
Living in a developing country in Metropolitan area having few commercial buildings.
In Sri lanka

On November 21, 2013 at 4:13am
manoj wrote:

I have emptied my battery to carry it to one place to another. Will my battery work if i put acid and water mixture again.

On December 28, 2013 at 3:41am
Andrew wrote:

In a “perfect” lead-acid battery, assuming no losses, upon discharge, 1 gram of lead active material turns into 1.46 grams of lead sulfate, delivers 0.26 ampere-hours.

Recharging this battery, assuming no losses, requires application of 0.26 ampere-hours, to turn the 1.46 grams of lead sulfate back into 1 gram of lead.

The same battery affected by sulfation, assuming no losses, must receive recharging ampere-hours in proportion to the percentage of lead sulfate, in order to restore the 1 gram of lead.

I have two questions:
1. How do sulfation products, that do not attempt to put a proper charge into batteries, restore batteries?
2. How do sulfation products, claimed to be able to dissolve hard sulfate, recover battery ampere-hours?

On January 11, 2014 at 11:53pm
John Fetter wrote:

I have a question as well. A battery that is sulfated, does not deliver output. If lead sulfate covers the plates, choking the battery and if lead sulfate is white, why do the plates not look predominantly white?

On February 9, 2014 at 1:26pm
Matt wrote:

Can’t help but wonder what the relationship between Cadex and batteryvitamin.net is? It seems the information presented here and information found at batteryvitamin.net is very similar.

On February 9, 2014 at 11:06pm
John Fetter wrote:

Matt - This website presents information and invites comments relating to batteries, the other website relates to a product.
There is no connection.
I have been submitting comments on this website and I have written an article that is on the other website.
Perhaps you have a conspiracy theory you might like to share.

On February 9, 2014 at 11:14pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

To my knowledge- batt vitamin was invented by John Fetter- who posts here as do I- I don’t know of any tie up with Cadex- John is just a bloke who has his own opinion on matters batteries!  If seems similiar- it could be that it is right!

On May 4, 2014 at 6:03am
Danko wrote:

John Fetter wrote:

“I began using a permanent charger for my car many years ago. Simple. No need to disconnect the battery from the car. On connection, the charger measures the battery volts, decides if it must charge or float. It always ends up on float, at 13.5V.”

If I understand you correctly, you have a charger in your car that is somehow connected to the battery. Is that correct?

On May 4, 2014 at 5:20pm
John Fetter wrote:

Danko - No. I park the car in a garage. There is a power outlet. The charger is located next to the power outlet. I connect when the car is parked. Not every time but at least every couple of weeks. I leave it connected until I use the car again. Sometimes the charger remains connected for days, weeks.

On May 7, 2014 at 3:03am
Danko wrote:

And you don’t remove battery from car? I heard that it’s not a good solution. It can mess your electronics in car.

On May 7, 2014 at 3:46am
John Fetter wrote:

Danko - I have done this for decades, many cars, no problems. Connect clamps, then switch on. Afterwards, switch off, then disconnect clamps. No sparks. No surges. No problems.

On October 21, 2014 at 11:48am
Joe Carter wrote:

Won’t to know if you can rebuild gel battery for a auto scrubber the battery is a ev185a let me know you can email me back at jcarter@mfisd. Txed.net or joe.carter44@yahoo.com thank you very much sir

On March 7, 2015 at 6:31am
Bill wrote:

I’m bring back to life a new car battery that sat idle in a car for 14 years. When I pulled it out, the cover caps were loose and just resting atop the holes. Cells 1 - 3 were dried out with about 2 tablespoons of white powder above the #1 cell. Cells 4 - 6 were full of rain water to the top of the holes. Poured that out then dropped some soda in it and saw no reaction.
I heated up 40 oz. of distilled water then mixed in 9 teaspoons of Epsom salts. Distributed that between the cells then topped them off with more distilled water. Placed it on a 5 amp charge and checked out a few days later with my load tester. It showed 12v with BAD cca’s. Left it on the 5 amp charge for the next 10 days and now shows 13v w/520 cca’s when tested after being off the charger for a hour. After a few days the charge drops to 12.5v w/400cca. Cells 2 - 6 show 1275 - 1300 yet cell 1 took forever to reach 1200 and several more days to reach 1225. When using my hydrometer that cell shows zip for a surface charge but when I fill & discharge the hydrometer a few times to mix the electrolyte it finally registers a low charge. I’m thinking that the white powder found above the #1 cell was sulfuric acid crystals so that cell has a lowered acid content. I do have 2 - 3 oz. of fresh battery acid left over from my new m/c battery so was considering to remove 2 - 3 oz. of the low gravity electrolyte on top then add 2 - 3 oz. of the fresh acid to replace what evaporated out of the cell. Would this bring that cell on par with the rest or should I keep it on the 5 amp charge longer?

On April 12, 2015 at 12:55am
gilbeRt wrote:

hi gUY AM GILBERt from UGAnda i need UR HELP, aT hoMe We hAve a 200amP Sealed lead acid BaTtery and 300waTTs Of SOlAr PanneL to chaRGE It. It Was meanT To run a 42inch TV of 205 waTTS BUT iT canT EVEN RUn a 14inch of 70wTS ItS SHowS 12.7V befoRe PUtTing on ThE 14IncH bUT In JuST 15minS IT REAds 10.7 And goes OFF whaT cOULD BE the Problem and hOw coUld T be SOLved

On April 12, 2015 at 4:43am
John Fetter wrote:

gilbert - Are your panels working properly? I suggest you measure the on-charge current (at least 25A at midday) and on-charge voltage (at least 15V at the end of the sunny portion of the day). If the amps and volts are good, the battery will need replacing. Don’t use a sealed battery, use flooded deep cycle. Be very careful when a battery salesman tries to give advice. They always try selling the battery with the biggest markup, which is usually a sealed variety.

On April 28, 2015 at 11:52pm
sufyan Arshad wrote:

how much voltage of a dry lead acid battery with out electrolyte.if voltage is zero

On May 8, 2015 at 7:23am
Brian Faux wrote:

I have an old but just about usable forklift. I note that a sustained charge for 16 hours or so is necessary now and then to keep the battery in reasonable condition. However my forklift charger always cuts out after about 5 hours max.
This is a 48v/540ah battery but I do have a 24v charger with, I suspect, little in the way of feedback control - ie I guess it will just deliver (8/10 amps) indefinitely.
Would it be worthwhile/good idea to charge up the battery in two goes? Or is this charger too small anyway? (I would do this after it has received a `full ` charge from the standard charger)

On May 8, 2015 at 9:51am
John Fetter wrote:

Brian - You have not mentioned the charging current. You need to charge your 48V/540ah battery at approximately 90 amps, keep charging until it reaches 57volts, then reduce the current either gradually or one-step to about 30 amps and let the voltage of the battery rise to 62 volts, then switch off. It would seem that your charger is faulty. It is cutting out when the main charge that takes the battery to 80% is complete, when it still has to put in charge at a reduced rate, called the finishing rate. You can use the small charger but remember, it will take a long time. You might never get to 62 volts with 10 amps, but 60 volts at 10 amps may be fine. It is difficult to get old batteries up to full volts due to the antimony that will have passed from the positive grids to the negative plates You need to put in extra charge to overcome that problem. You will see plenty of gassing. That’s normal for an old battery.

On May 28, 2015 at 6:03pm
Graham Barron wrote:

John - I have just found this web page and it is good to see someone who has the same understanding of batteries as myself. I have been designing and installing RAPS (Remote Area Power Systems) in Australia for the past 40 years and have tried all types of batteries as they get released into the market. Flooded deep cycle cells are the only reliable cells for RAPS installations and if properly designed and maintained will last for up to 15.
Some of the above comments are quite funny as it is clear the posters have zero knowledge of how batteries work and I commend you for the tenacity in your replies

On June 9, 2015 at 11:13am
ecedmrr wrote:

I have a calcium hybrid battery. It is new generation. In old batteries I was adding distilled water incase of low performance. Now I want to ask Can I add water to this new generation hybrid calcium battery? I opened it and it looks completely dry. Complete dryness seems so suspicious. Maybe it never had any water?
Please help.
Kind regards,

On June 9, 2015 at 4:01pm
John Fetter wrote:

ecedmrr - A calcium hybrid battery needs to be watered. Manufacturers like to put stickers over the filler vents that caution against watering, under the pretext that this will somehow invalidate their warranty. If you believe this GARBAGE you will destroy your battery. The first thing I do when I buy a battery like this is to remove the sticker, check the electrolyte level and check the SG. I add water when the levels fall.

On June 15, 2015 at 3:53am
Jon Naude wrote:

To John Fetter:
Would appreciate your take on the Tesla batteries for home use?
Good idea, worthwhile?

On June 15, 2015 at 4:52am
John Fetter wrote:

Jon - The answer is simple. It would serve no purpose other than to assist Elon Musk to keep his automobile manufacturing venture going. Lithium ion batteries are expensive. They wear out. A new battery for a Tesla costs more than the price of an average second-hand car. He is trying to increase volumes in order to reduce their price. He cannot sell enough cars so he is trying to sell more batteries instead. Bob Lutz, who has held senior management positions in Ford, General Motors, BMW and Chrysler recently described the Tesla manufacturing volume as much too small for an automobile manufacturing concern to remain viable.
I cannot think of any technical reason why one would not rather use lead-acid or nickel-iron. The weight is irrelevant in a home situation, whereas the price is all important.

On June 15, 2015 at 8:28am
Jon wrote:

Aside from the principle of helping people become grid-independent and bringing down the cost of Li Ion batteries by mass production, you’re saying the Tesla home units bring no advantage over standard car batteries when it comes to power storage?
As I understand it, their vehicle production is high-end at the moment, so volume is not an issue.

On June 16, 2015 at 6:32pm
Harold Benusa wrote:

good reading

On July 30, 2015 at 1:00pm
Lizzelys wrote:

Can you put my phone on 100/ because my phone douse not scharege and i get realy sad and i fell like i am going tp kill my self please

On July 31, 2015 at 12:36pm
Robert Seattle wrote:

Would the high volts (19 volts) and low aH (4.5 amps) of a laptop battery charger, loosen, dislodge or dissolve sulfate within (50aH, AGM) a battery? Charge time(?), rest time(?), when is finished(?).  Pros and cons?  Re: USA standard 120 AC.
Thanks, Robert

On August 9, 2015 at 12:28pm
AncelB wrote:

Hello All:
I am an Industrial Eng. with some EE Certification. I once built a lead acid cell out of cast lead from a smelted auto batt in my teens, before I knew of lead toxicity.  I am in the Caribbean where a lot of kids are harmed by such activities, done as a means to acquire lead for fishing tackle etc.  Mostly auto batts are smelted down.

Anyway, I wanted to verify if the non-chemical desulphation of batteries is viable or not.
As such, I built a microprocessor controlled 36V, 300W pulse charger. It’s capable of rejuvenating a 35-45Ah battery in around 24 hours, depending on battery condition.

Having processed and data logged over 100 such batteries to refine my approach I note an issue for which I have a question.

Recovered batteries which I pass through a C/5 Ah test display a shortfall of about 20 SG points after standard recharge. I note that a std recharge to 14.7V (temp controlled) with a C/40 absorption termination and then a fixed 3 hour extended final acceptance exhibit only an 11% ‘overcharge’ rather than the 20% extra Ah which battery efficiency losses demand. In order to get the SG to full value I need to apply a 2 to 3 hr, 15.6V EQ again. Is it that standard chargers don’t full charge batteries leading to ‘creeping’ sulphation as a natural consequence?

This link:
Shows a graph for a Absorbed Glass Mat Deep Cycle (AGM) which seems to correspond to what is necessary, even though I am using flooded SLI batts.


On August 9, 2015 at 5:20pm
Dr Jack wrote:

The problem, as I see it, is that enthusiasts read about sulfation and then make wild guesses that if batteries are not performing anymore, they must be sulfated. There are business people out there who keep the sulfation story going by writing nonsense purely and simply in order to sell magic cures.

On August 9, 2015 at 6:03pm
AncelB wrote:

My approach produces a statistical 30% return to service of junker batteries.
I am still refining it to optimize:  effort in < results out.

On August 9, 2015 at 11:15pm
Dr Jack wrote:

You are taking possession of batteries that were junked, charging them and then want to sell them. That has been done by hundreds of micro-enterprises for decades. If you process enough there are bound to be batteries among junked batteries that still work. You are picking out these batteries.

On August 9, 2015 at 11:30pm
AncelB wrote:

Jack you seem to have a high level of confidence in you position that people have been doing what I am doing for decades.

That is highly unlikely. I don’t copy people, I test and verify each stage for myself and then proceed. Indeed my approach has passed the patent novelty benchmark already.

In essence you are lumping my work with other work and have no detailed data on either, which makes you a layman.

I give you an obvious error in your statement; I have never ‘sold’ batteries. I never said I did or planned to. You assumed as such. Assumptions without data make final conclusions wrong. Consider a new approach before commenting on other peoples efforts.

On August 10, 2015 at 12:39am
Dr Jack wrote:

There are plenty of people in the USA running businesses that take in junk batteries, process them and sell the percentage of batteries that responded. There is nothing new in what you described. It is not difficult to secure a patent that has been written using language that avoids previous concepts. You appear genuinely unaware that you are reinventing the wheel.

On August 10, 2015 at 1:15am
AncelB wrote:

I didn’t attempt to describe anything new. i asked a question which you make no attempt to answer, except to criticize….perhaps you are employed in the new battery sales food chain.

If you are unable or unwilling to answer the question, why get involved at all unless you have some agenda in this?

On August 10, 2015 at 1:54am
Dr Jack wrote:


I was curious where you were coming from. I am under no obligation to reply in a format that you specify. I have no connections with the battery industry.

There is no straight answer simply because most of what is said about sulfation is based on disinformation.

On August 10, 2015 at 11:43am
AncelB wrote:

Well, since you never planned to offer an answer, you are simply adding more useless noise,  I can only hope someone with actual knowledge will respond.

On August 10, 2015 at 4:20pm
Dr Jack wrote:

You said, to the effect, take note of me, I am qualified in electricity, I’m important. It turns out you don’t know much about electricity.

On August 10, 2015 at 11:14pm
Dr Jack wrote:


I apologize. The intention was to see how you might react. Battery chargers used to be rather basic but they did charge the batteries. Modern battery chargers include control circuits that, ironically, all too often control the charging in a way that results in long-term undercharging.

On August 11, 2015 at 11:06am
Robert Seattle wrote:

Dr Jack – I agree, undercharging with todays smart chargers, could cause problems if not charged long enough (12-16 hours) to include the last 90>100% of charge.

So, what would be a realistic approach, for the average person reading this thread, wishing to keep their batteries in top working condition?  Cycling? (deep discharge to 11.0 volts, followed by a long low 2 aH recharge on a manual charger, [to a certain voltage, no load, across +/- posts], or what?).
Examples welcomed.

On August 11, 2015 at 4:57pm
Dr Jack wrote:


What has been happening in the wake of the introduction of the so-called smart chargers has been a surge in the promotion of so-called pulse battery regenerators. In other words, there is a sector of the charger industry that sells product designed either inadvertently or deliberately to persistently undercharge batteries by a small amount - and another sector that sells product that pretends to desulfate with pulses, that can bring batteries to full state of charge.

Batteries that have been “smart charged” can be given a periodic overcharge at C/20, charging continuing until the volts per cell has been over 2.6 for a couple of hours. Uses water. So what. Causes very minor positive grid corrosion. Minor corrosion actually helps to prolong the life of the plates that are being corroded!

On August 12, 2015 at 4:28pm
AncelB wrote:

“Minor corrosion actually helps to prolong the life of the plates that are being corroded!”

Care to elaborate on how that works?

On August 12, 2015 at 5:00pm
Dr Jack wrote:

The original lead-acid battery was made from plain lead positives and negatives. Charging caused lead dioxide to form on the surfaces of the positives. The lead-acid battery develops and retains its charge in that lead dioxide. Repeated cycling causes the layer to become thicker. The surface lead of the positives is being corroded, producing lead dioxide.

Modern lead-acid batteries have lead alloy metal grids which are filled with paste. The paste is converted to lead dioxide during battery formation. The lead dioxide paste must remain bonded to the underlying grid metal. There is no reason why two dissimilar materials will remain bonded except for the fact that the grid surfaces are corroded at the top of charge, adding fresh lead-dioxide at the end of every charge, effectively renewing the bonding and keeping the paste in contact with the underlying lead.

Alloying the lead with antimony greatly assists bonding, (increases water consumption), alloying lead with calcium creates a mismatch at the bonding interface, (decreases water consumption). So-called maintenance-free batteries provide inferior battery life for this reason. Battery manufacturers are happy when they can sell more batteries.

On August 12, 2015 at 5:46pm
AncelB wrote:

Hmm, wasn’t Sb added to improve the strength of the lead grid?
I think any alloying element eventually becomes concentrated at the ionic interface as they don’t partake of the reversible redux reactions and so reduces the reaction efficiency after some time.

On August 12, 2015 at 5:54pm
Dr Jack wrote:

Antimony or calcium can be added to lead to improve the stiffness of the grids. Antimony is compatible with the lead - lead dioxide interface. Calcium is not compatible, resulting in what the industry refers to as “the antimony-free effect”, “open circuit”, etc. Your theory about the ionic interface is a theory.

On August 12, 2015 at 6:31pm
AncelB wrote:

I found this to be a useful reference in the matter of alloying elements.

On August 12, 2015 at 6:40pm
AncelB wrote:

On the issue of why Battery manufacturers make batteries with predictable self limiting features:
It is more to do with predictive business plan strategies than gouging the purchaser. If they can sell a battery with a known stable (albeit shorter) lifetime (lead calcium), then warranties and so on can be offered and retail profits margins are more easily managed

Selling a battery that can last a long time (lead antimony) but ALSO fail quickly due to poor maintenance puts them in a difficult retail position. How to price it and how to warranty it? Corporations like stable year on year growth to satify stakeholders.

On August 13, 2015 at 12:09am
Dr Jack wrote:

There are many references in relation to all kinds of things. I have found it useful to rely on a dual approach - read about it, plus use the most reliable source of information, long-term, hands-on practical experience. Excessive reliance on the written word gives a person a swollen head.

There are indeed people out there who are running business in the way that you describe. They actually believe their business plans are more important than ensuring customer satisfaction. Kodak is a perfect example. Insisted on deciding that what the customer needed was photographic film. The customer wanted digital, went elsewhere for their photographic requirements. Kodak went bankrupt.

There are a few battery manufacturers making quality batteries that last. They are doing OK. There are many more battery manufacturers operating approximately along the lines that you described and they are not doing OK.

One of the biggest lead-acid battery manufacturers went as far as to operate exactly in the way you outlined and at one stage its CEO was put in jail and its entire management team was fired by the shareholders for knowingly selling inferior product.

On August 13, 2015 at 12:36am
AncelB wrote:

I was looking at this:

and I note that the automotive battery failures due to sulphation is deemed to be 30%.  Remarkably, my empirical rejuvenation statistics mirrors this value.

On August 13, 2015 at 3:01am
Dr Jack wrote:


You are definitely in the battery rejuvenation business. I have worked out that you are making and selling battery treatment equipment that you know to be based on technology that is incapable of withstanding scientific scrutiny. Your stated business philosophy and style of debate confirms it 100%.

On August 13, 2015 at 7:46am
Robert Seattle wrote:

Dr Jack –
Said, There are a few battery manufacturers making quality batteries that last.

As a consumer your statement sparks interest, and leads me to ask you -
    In *your own personal opinion*, what are the names of the manufacturers your thinking of when you make that statement? I’m not trying to promote any brand, but would be interested in your personal opinion, as your knowledge of batteries far exceeds mine, and possible, you know something about these brands, that would be of interest to me and other battery enthusiasts.

Secondly, is your opinion based on personal experience, hands on research or otherwise? From ‘my personal experience’, it certainly does not include any WalMart product, as 5 warranty replacements in 14 months proved to me.

On August 13, 2015 at 10:21am
John Fetter wrote:

Robert - I apologize for butting in. Interesting discussion. In my experience, which relates mostly to motive power, the types of batteries likely to be of interest to deep cycling battery users, who don’t want to use expensive industrial batteries, would the US brand that makes mostly golf-cart batteries with the mauve colored battery cases. I don’t believe it would be right for me to give their name.

On August 13, 2015 at 11:12am
AncelB wrote:

Hello John, nice to see you back.
I had hoped you’d be able to comment on my first post a few days ago.

On August 13, 2015 at 11:33am
AncelB wrote:

@Dr. Jack, 30 years ago a couple doctors ‘discovered’ that a bacterium was the genesis of a high percentage of stomach ulcers as opposed to the popular stress theory. They were ignored for many years. In 2005 they were awarded for their discovery and now a course of antibiotics can solve many ulcers.

Change is hard for many to digest and there is always room for improvement, evolutionary or revolutionary. As an innovator I encounter your mindset a great deal. It is the current ‘normal’ in-the-box thinking. Unfortunately most academics think like this and take little risk as their ‘reputation’ can be questioned. Thank goodness we’re not all the same.
My father is a chemist, I did college chemistry, so has my daughter. You know what shows up…chemistry has CHANGED over the 3 generations. Some things taught 30 years ago were kinda wrong or have been better explained now. There are more elements in the periodic table. New physics theories exist (quantum), new materials like graphene have been discovered.
For someone to state that science has disproved my approach is treating science as a fixed reference. Science changes every day. Perhaps today’s science proves the opposite to what you are saying.

I have >2,500 Eng. hours, 22 prototypes, thousands of lines of assembly code and > 125 desulphation data logs that say…new methodology, new science and empirical results. I just joined this blog to ask a question as I don’t know everything. You seem to think you do.

I won’t be responding to any more of your barbs, you consume time which is irreplaceable.

On August 13, 2015 at 4:56pm
Dr Jack wrote:


As a matter of interest, the 30% portion of automotive battery failures due to sulfation is significant only in the context of a high likelihood that this percentage of batteries have been undercharged. It makes sense that if one processes batteries that have been taken out of cars with a view to recovering serviceable batteries, that the serviceable portion will come out of the other 70%.

On August 13, 2015 at 5:22pm
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - You said, “Indeed my approach has passed the patent novelty benchmark already.” That implies that you have applied for a patent and that it has been examined. Perhaps you would like to provide readers with a link to your patent document?

On August 13, 2015 at 5:56pm
AncelB wrote:

Actually John:
That does not mean USPTO. My local IPO kindly did an exercise free of charge as a patent search training exercise for it’s younger officers. After about 6 months they were able to determine to the satisfaction of the senior officer that novelty is established.

I have since added more novelty and will hopefully complete the main dev. work in the last quarter. I don’t plan to make the product available in the U.S.A. as it’s more suitable to tropical climates where sulphation creates more failures and illegal smelting destroys families: Caribbean, Latin America, India, Africa etc.

What I am developing is meant to spawn micro entrepreneurship for safe rejuvenation as opposed to what goes on via backyard battery smelting. In the Caribbean a lot of kids have suffered permanent health and brain damage from lead toxicity due to lead salvage.

We desperately need an economic alternative to toxic lead smelting in the developing world. The largest contributor in this disaster is the automotive battery, which is why it is my focus. Pure Earth has already undertaken to include my innovation in suitable projects in my region.

I am trying to improve the quality of life of the poorest peoples who scavenge for survival.

On August 14, 2015 at 2:09am
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - There appears to be a flaw in your plan. You want to prevail upon the informal business sector, that collects spent batteries and smelts them in their backyards, to insert an extra procedure between collection and smelting, in order to recover batteries that can be put back into service. Surely, the batteries that don’t respond must and will be smelted, as before. Your plan will increase intimate contact with lead.

On August 14, 2015 at 3:06am
Anant wrote:

Is your EE Certification in any way related to MIT 6.002x Circuits and Electronics?

On August 14, 2015 at 10:35am
AncelB wrote:

Hi John:
I can’t discuss all the particulars of the business plan here. But that is also handled, the system tracks EVERY battery recovery and tracks every failure. It even profiles by brand and territory and can up link data. The lease contract will include turning over the failed batteries as part of the ‘payment’.

@ Anant, I have an honor code MIT 6.002X certificate, among other qualifications. Why do you ask?

On August 14, 2015 at 5:12pm
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - You started off by seeking advice about non-chemical desulfation. You followed that up by claiming that you had developed a process that had not been used before. Most people would agree that what you have said is somewhat inconsistent.
There is an informal sector that collects spent batteries and smelts them. This kind of work would attract predominantly lesser educated people. You are planning to impose a system of rigid business discipline on these people. Again, somewhat inconsistent.
I can see why you do not want to discuss all the particulars of the business plan.

On August 14, 2015 at 5:27pm
AncelB wrote:

This isn’t a business plan blog.
At least i didn’t think so.
Perhaps I was wrong.
For a startup business to publish its strategy details on a blog for all and sundry won’t encourage many investors or engender stakeholder confidence.

Your interest in my business plan is evident. I cannot reveal any more on that issue.
I asked a technical question it has not been answered. Only questions as to my qualifications and business intentions are forthcoming here.

Clearly I am in the wrong place.

On August 15, 2015 at 12:20am
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - You were given answers to your question by two people on August 10 and 11.
If you had simply asked a technical question, you would have been given the answer and there would have been no further discussion. You volunteered information about what you were intending to do. It looked controversial and invited discussion.
It looks like a variation on the usual desulfator business plan. Instead of trying to persuade private investors, (rather difficult nowadays because these schemes hardly ever seem to provide a return on investment), you want to engage green/ welfare authorities in your spent lead-acid battery processing save-the-children scheme.
There is obviously not enough money in it to reward the workers plus yourself. It appears you are anticipating that the money they might be persuaded to put into the scheme can be used to pay your salary.

On August 15, 2015 at 12:37am
AncelB wrote:

LOL. John Fetter you assume I am doing it for the money. Perhaps it is the scope of your thinking.
I am afraid my motivations are not so base. Perhaps if you lived in a country where people scavenge toxins for their daily bread you might have less capitalistic urges.

My focus is on sustainability, thus it must be economically justified for the USER and breakeven for me. I don’t need to live off of people who scavenge for a living.

I am grant funded.

On August 15, 2015 at 1:17am
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - Then all you need to do is to arrange for these unfortunates to be given a fair price for every battery they bring in and for the batteries to be processed by a professional outfit. That is the way they are recycling just about everything remarkably effectively and sustainably in Sao Paulo, Brazil. You can do the same on a smaller scale.
When I was a teenager I collected discarded car tires. I took them to the local retreaders. They tested them and paid the equivalent of USD 1.50 for each good tire. It would seem to be a natural human inclination to want to do better. You seem intent on positioning yourself in the way of this kind of progress.

On August 15, 2015 at 2:32am
AncelB wrote:

Good for you.
This conversation is not useful to me and I must move on.

On August 15, 2015 at 2:53am
Anant wrote:


Thank you for confirming the MIT 6.002x. I had to be sure. I am impressed. Take no notice of your detractors:

On August 15, 2015 at 3:04am
AncelB wrote:

Thanks for the kind words AnantB

I’ll be adding two more innovation/invention awards to that profile within a week! I just got advised yesterday by the local Science & Technology Foundation and I am awaiting the official documents.

On August 15, 2015 at 3:17am
Anant = Dr Jack wrote:

I couldn’t resist testing your ego. Sorry man.

On August 15, 2015 at 4:55am
John Fetter wrote:

I don’t agree with your abrasive approach Dr Jack. Still, I tried your link and found a wealth of information about AncelB. It turns out he has been working on battery rejuvenation for a long time. It has been amply demonstrated that altruistic urges are incapable of providing superior results to capitalistic urges. Cuba?

On August 15, 2015 at 11:06am
AncelB wrote:

Dr. Jack:
In order to survive as an innovator/inventor in my territory you must believe in your self and what you do. You must have laser focus. We are not known for much innovating.Invention without innovation is only dust in the wind.

Thus I must self actualize and be able to shrug off the nay-sayers. It’s easier to say it can’t be done and do nothing than to challenge the establishment. It’s safer to hover on the sidelines and then point fingers when success is not achieved than to pitch in to help.

My ego can be sizable, it must be. I lose a piece of it every time I fail at something. I have to re-inflate it whenever I succeed in order to survive the journey which is full of assorted failures, each of which teaches me something new.

If i don’t believe in myself and my cause, how can i expect others to do so?

On August 15, 2015 at 1:19pm
AncelB wrote:

I believe I have discovered the crux of my technical issue in this paper:

The batteries studied are identical to the imported units I handle and the recovery pattern is similar.

On August 15, 2015 at 1:38pm
AncelB wrote:

This is what i am working to mitigate.

On August 15, 2015 at 1:42pm
AncelB wrote:

This one is recently completed.

On August 15, 2015 at 3:58pm
Dr Jack wrote:


I ran a research lab for five years. I found that there are two types of researchers. The doers and the talkers. The doers have the necessary skills to get on with the work, take projects all the way. Products go into production and the company makes money. There is only one way to measure these things. Sustainability can only be achieved if profit is near the top of the list. People who insist they are conducting a business in order to help others are usually quite expert at looking after themselves.

On August 15, 2015 at 4:33pm
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - I had a look at those links. What a load of garbage. None of these people seem to want to understand that paying these unfortunate people to bring in the batteries for processing by a professional outfit provides the most effective method that will cut down poisoning and pollution. Suggestion: Oblige the battery makers/ importers to take back/ export one spent battery for every battery imported.

On August 16, 2015 at 7:02am
John Fetter wrote:

I had a look at the Battery Council International website. They say that the rate of recycling in the USA for battery lead is 98%, aluminum cans is 55%, newspapers is 45% and glass bottles is 26%. There is obviously a method being used in the USA that is extraordinarily successful at preventing spent automobile batteries being left lying around, preventing lead-acid batteries ending up in landfills and preventing them from falling into the hands of informal smelters.
Yet here is AncelB telling everybody that spent battery lead is a huge problem in the Caribbean, Latin America, India, Africa, etc.and that he has been working on a system for supposedly overcoming this problem, apparently by using a desulfation system that he has invented and is in the process of developing.
He mentioned that he is grant funded. He has drawn attention to an organization called Pure Earth. One would therefore assume that he is working for them.
The USA has already developed an effective way of managing lead. Yet it appears AncelB is determined to buck all that knowledge and to run experiments with the lives of poor people who are smelting lead. They are smelting lead so that they can make a little money - they know no better than to do so.
Capitalism has its flaws but none so gross as an act of deliberately ignoring existing knowledge and imposing a totally new idea, out of the box, on innocent and unfortunate people.

On August 16, 2015 at 10:43am
AncelB wrote:


What an individual.

What can i say to such vitriol?

I guess he is the type of person to see people starve and ignore them because his Govt is supposed to handle that.

Fortunately some people care about others.

On August 17, 2015 at 2:28am
John Fetter wrote:

AncelB - Had you responded by confirming that you looked at the US battery lead recycling model and that you were taking it into account, you would have gained the high ground in this debate. You chose instead to respond to my arguments by attacking my character. Here is the irony. You are in a situation that can put you out of a job if the ideas that you introduce work immediately. The longer it takes to get them right, the longer you have a job. Surely that constitutes a conflict of interest that can compromise the way you care about others? I have no doubt you can provide an answer to every argument but that is not the point. The objective must be to provide a viable solution as quickly as possible.

On August 17, 2015 at 7:04am
AncelB wrote:

It is foolish to expect that one can ‘transplant’ a US model to anywhere because you would like to. It ignores the culture, infrastructural differences,  and habits of the local population.

It is a simplistic, bombastic statement and smacks of ignorance and imperialism to say so.

From a geopolitical view, every time the US tries to forcibly ‘transplant’ it’s methods overseas we get a terrible mess.

This is hardly a debate. You express an opinion and make a series of wrong assumptions. e.g. You assume I am funded by pure Earth: I don’t work for Pure Earth and they don’t fund me. You wrong assumptions make all your arguments moot.

Anyhow, I didn’t ask your advice how to run my business and as far as I see you have no new ideas and are fairly barren in thinking.

Allow me to make this clear. I do not seek business advice in blogs. I let myself be drawn in here and that is a mistake. One that I correct now.

You can chat into thin air now. I am cancelling blog notifications and dumping this waste of time.

On August 17, 2015 at 7:33am
John fetter wrote:

AncelB - I live in a country that has had its education systems, its health systems and many other public services brought to their knees by people like you. It is immaterial who funds you. There is nothing simpler than installing a system that motivates people to return their spent lead-acid batteries for professional processing. I have been to the Caribbean many times. I believe it would not be difficult to install such a system. Your mouth is full of words. Your hands are empty.

On August 17, 2015 at 7:48am
AncelB wrote:

Hmm..for some reason I am still getting notifications…
Maybe there is a lag.

Anyhow…now that I understand your nature this can be looked at from a comical POV.
You are unable to do better.

I suppose because you VISITED the Caribbean you know more about it than the people LIVING here? That’s quite arrogant. I suppose you know the children personally who suffer chronic lead poisoning where I live? I suppose you know how they survive day to day. You have the high ground you say…i am sure you do. Sit in your ivory tower John Fetter…and believe you can decree from on high.

I have zero respect for you now. You are a comedian and a jester who likes to sing for his supper.




On August 17, 2015 at 9:24am
John fetter wrote:

Ancel Bhagwandeen - Thank you for a most interesting discussion. And congratulations. I believe you managed to figure out by far the most original bogus desulfation scheme since the lead-acid battery became a commercial item.

On August 17, 2015 at 10:45am
Surprised wrote:

I’ve been observing this discussion and i must note that whether or not the OP (AncelB) is mistaken in his approach, John Fetter is quite pompous and cannot accept contradiction.

He calls the OP’s system bogus yet he has never seen it, it’s design or its results. John Fetter seems to be the same guy who is affiliated with something called battery vitamins. I suspect he is afraid that another system can threaten his money tree.

That’s my 2 cents take.

AncelB, give it a good try, if you improve just ONE life it is worth it.

On August 17, 2015 at 2:00pm
John fetter wrote:

AncelB/ Surprised - I thought you said I am a comedian, you are cancelling notifications and that you were signing off.

On August 17, 2015 at 4:33pm
AncelB wrote:

Thanks for the support Surprised! Ppl like Fetter are a dime a dozen. That money tree suggestion made me check him out:

John Fetter has an agenda, and it’s anti any tech that supplants his battery vitamin baby.

Who is John Fetter and what is his agenda?
John Fetter’s image and quote supporting battery vitamins is here:

On another page (same site) we have battery vitamins targeting desulfation as a competitior here:

Clearly Johnfetter = Batteryvitamins=anti desulfation tech.
Thus we have John Fetter using public Blogs to claim tech. knowledge but his agenda is to sell product or denigrate competing efforts.

The BatteryVitamins site pretends to be an information site on battery failure , but it promotes product continuously and asks for interested parties to contact them to sell more vitamins.

Since my reusable battery rejuvenation takes NO labor and no consumables it puts Fetter’s B-vitamins claimed edge for battery recovery off kilter.

What’s worse is since I have made connections with international toxic battery mitigation, it publicly threatens his revenue stream. Who needs consumable vitamins if a flick of a switch solves the problem?

Thus his need to see my ‘patent’.

Ergo..his ‘advice’ is useless and thinking pattern predictable. Now anyone can see why John Fetter does not want battery rejuvenation to happen as opposed to battery smelting.

Be afwaid John Fetter, be vewy afwaid….ROFL

You made my day. What a fake.

On August 17, 2015 at 4:40pm
AncelB wrote:

I retract my statement about John Fetter being a comedian. A little investigation revealed what is happening.
He’s just another business stakeholder with dated tech. afraid of losing market share and desperately trying to use public forums for his propaganda. It is a standard practice and I understand it. However, I don’t respect it.

And the site keeps notifying me of his comments…idk why.

On August 17, 2015 at 5:06pm
John fetter wrote:

I believe it is unnecessary for me to respond.

On August 18, 2015 at 12:58am
Dr Jack wrote:

Here is a man who claims to have found work as a humanitarian. Says he plans to rid the environment of discarded battery lead. Prevent informal lead smelting. His ideas are challenged. Refuses to acknowledge the practical ramifications. Tries to create mystery around the technology he claims to have invented. Shoots off personal insults and barbs. Then goes on to reveal himself to be an intolerant person with an explosive personality and one who issues threats in a public forum. Humanitarian or dictator?

On August 18, 2015 at 10:46am
L.vandervoot wrote:

It’s all a moot point. Two positions, both people throw barbs….
John gets called a comedian. AncelB is told people like him - bring health & education institutions to their knees. Both statements exhibit passionate positions & beliefs.

John seems to be a business man with years of battery experience. Ancel appears to have MIT certification and some kind of institutional grant backing to alter the battery recovery landscape.

Who is right? Maybe they both are to a degree. Time will tell.
Lively discussion nonetheless

On August 18, 2015 at 5:33pm
John Fetter wrote:

AncilB is a socialist. He believes that socialism is pure and capitalism is dirty. He sees himself as a principled person and he sees me as unprincipled. He does not know me. The fact that I am running a business, from his perspective, automatically qualifies me as such. He strongly resented being given business advice.
I tried to inform him that his idea is unworkable. There is a much simpler way. The system that needs to be put in place to prevent young people from being poisoned by lead must be structured to buy back the spent batteries.
There are about 80 patents for pulse desulfation, each describing a different way of pulsing, and describing the previous inventions as flawed. This is not a kind of technology a responsible person would want to thrust on disadvantaged people.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is half right, half wrong? The buy-back-the-battery concept is working phenomenally well in many countries.
It is immoral to experiment with people’s lives.

On August 21, 2015 at 4:06pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

Saying that pulse desulfation is irresponsible tech. seems biased to me.
This is informative from a company well known for its tech and safety records.


On August 21, 2015 at 4:39pm
John Fetter wrote:

There are roughly 60 billion dollar’s worth of lead-acid batteries, for starting automobile engines, in use worldwide. The developed world operates between 500 and 800 motor vehicles per 1000 population - in other words, nearly one lead-acid battery per person. Battery pulse desulfation was invented in 1989. Auto parts retailers, by rights, should be selling huge volumes of pulse desulfators. Some of the makers of pulse desulfation products should have grown big enough to become publicly traded enterprises. Battery pulsing enjoys limited success among hobbyists. Other than that, a quarter of a century later, very little has happened.

On August 22, 2015 at 2:45am
Dr Jack wrote:


I used your link. The pulsing unit shown is made in Brisbane, Australia. It is offered as an option by truck distributors. It is NOT fitted as original equipment. Very clever marketing. No need to explain how it works, indeed if it works at all. Simply wave the picture showing the unit with the label in people’s faces.

On August 22, 2015 at 4:51am
Robert Seattle wrote:

I’m not taking sides one way or the other in re: *Pulsing to desulfate and recover weak batteries*, but, can all those people claiming improvements, be ignorant consumers and lying about their success? Why so many success stories if pulsing is bogus technology?

On August 22, 2015 at 7:31am
John Fetter wrote:

Robert - “Why so many success stories if pulsing is a bogus technology?” Success is measured in numbers, not in stories.

On August 24, 2015 at 11:59pm
L.vandevoot wrote:

Well, companies work hard to maintain their brand image and trust. If the device is branded VOLVO, I am certain that some QC and QA is involved as the auto industry is heavily regulated regarding safety and performance.

It doesn’t matter if it isn’t fitted as a stock feature. There was a time power windows were an extra option as were window defrosters. Didn’t mean the features were suspect.

I’d buy a VOLVO product over a ‘Whizzbang’ product. Or a ‘Batteryvitamin’ ...no offense John.

On August 25, 2015 at 12:19am
L.vandevoot wrote:

There are just so many claims from so many manufacturers it boggles the mind and makes it near impossible to decipher. Everybody has their own angle.

If it is true that the U.S. military uses desulfators for 20 years as a supplier of pulse technology claims, there must be some kind of validation going on.

I really don’t think it would tale 20 years to reveal and or reject a failed tech. , when peoples lives depend on a humvee starting and running even if its alternator belt is shot out.

To say that there are no massive fortune 500 type desulfating companies thus the tech is a fail sidesteps the massive competition in the field keeping margins low.

A quick check on ebay reveals a huge amount of these gizmos from multiple countries and they have hundreds of sales each. There must be some kinda mass hypnosis going on for years for this to survive and be failed tech.

There is too much data supporting validity to dismiss the tech.

On August 25, 2015 at 2:21am
John Fetter wrote:

Pulse desulfation is NOT a failed technology. Pulsing can bring “tired” batteries up to 100% state of charge. What it cannot do is to bring fully sulfated batteries back to life. 
There was a lot of excitement in the middle 1990s when the US military became interested in pulsing. The makers of the equipment stopped updating their publications soon after serious testing had begun.
When pharmaceutical manufacturers runs tests on new drugs, they run into a well known problem called the placebo effect. Thirty percent of people who are given inert pills insist they feel much better after taking the pills. It has to do with their expectations and their perception of authority/ credibility and a belief that it engenders.
There is no shortage of resourceful people who know how to profit from this effect.

On August 25, 2015 at 1:49pm
Robert Seattle wrote:

Nothing to my knowledge, can bring back a dead battery from the grave, but most people interested in extending battery life, are doing so with an abused battery, possibly with a little life still remaining.

Using Amazon and other retailer(s), consumer reviews as a barometer, wouldn’t the 8 out of 10 positive reviews, allow some validation to pulse charging advantages? Isn’t that how science determines if a product works or not, buy positive results?

I’m trying to remain neutral in this department, but finding it hard to discount all the positive reviews as a result of a placebo effect. A battery either improves or it doesn’t, and not subject to personal opinion, like taking an aspirin for a headache. And lastly, just because the military has used it, doesn’t mean squat to a veteran, having seen some of the other junk they have.

On August 25, 2015 at 5:11pm
John Fetter wrote:

Robert - Connecting product reviews and science is equivalent to saying that if fiction sounds good enough to ring true, it is as good as being hard fact.
There are plenty of resourceful people who are good at using all the facets of PR needed to sell desulfation products.
It seems that when these businesses reach a certain size, the darkness of customer dissatisfaction overtakes the glowing sparkle of the reviews. They don’t seem to grow beyond that size.

On August 26, 2015 at 3:21am
Legal Eagle wrote:

Interesting discussion.

Motor manufacturers do not permit the use of their logos by small enterprises and do not get involved in inventions and products made by small enterprises

The risks far outweigh the benefits. A significant number of small enterprises turn out to be trolls.

On August 28, 2015 at 7:08pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

Volvo must be confident of that add on ‘desulfating’ gizmo to brand it with their name.

On August 29, 2015 at 12:14am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandervoot - You chose to draw attention to the link in an endeavor to make a point and I am responding specifically in that context.
The link leads to a page that shows an inferior quality scanned reproduction of a photograph. I came across a much better quality version of the exact same picture on a website run by the manufacturer of the battery pulser several years ago. The website has since been revised and the picture is no longer there.
I am inclined to believe that there is a simple explanation for this.
Can you please provide evidence that the battery pulser was actually tested by the truck manufacturer and branded by the truck manufacturer.

On August 29, 2015 at 11:03pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

Well, I am just an observer…but here’s another page that specifically mentions the product as Volvo.

On August 29, 2015 at 11:13pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

I just found some detailed info as to the VOLVO battery reconditioner application.

The specs discuss sulfation reversal.

Certainly seems to be a genuine VOLVO product, don’t you think?

On August 30, 2015 at 12:14am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandervoot - Sorry. The second of your two links, the pdf, provides evidence that the product information is produced by the manufacturer of the pulsing equipment and definitely not by the truck manufacturer - at the left bottom left corner. The publications you are digging up seem to be pointing more and more at a clever marketing technique used by the manufacturer of the pulsing equipment, rather than a genuine truck manufacturer product endorsement.

On August 30, 2015 at 4:22am
Dr Jack wrote:

You lot are talking in circles. I read the Megapulse website from beginning to end hoping to find an explanation of how their product works. This is what I found and I quote:

How does Megapulse Green Technology work?
Megapulse Green Technology is a patented process that suppresses and reverses sulphation build-up on battery plates, this is a common cause of lead-acid battery failure. Although there is enough reactive material in batteries to last for many years, often they don’t because of sulphation build-up.

Say that again ! ! ! !  How does it work ????

On August 30, 2015 at 9:38am
L.vandervoot wrote:

I don’t understand John’s point.

The product is a VOLVO product, it uses their brand. What ‘endorsement’ is required from VOLVO? Somehow VOLVO must have acquired or developed the product and made it part of their options line up.


On August 30, 2015 at 5:07pm
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandevoot - Your either have a vested interest and are trying very hard to endorse something, or you don’t have a clue what this is about.

On August 30, 2015 at 11:09pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

I prob. am clueless….
All I see is a respected company authorizing the use of desulfation on their trucks.
Ergo, given the level of certifications necessary for electronic sub assemblies for vehicles it must have a valid, tested, documented and viable purpose.

Thus as a layman, i would surmise that VOLVO’s branding is reasonable endorsement of the tech.

No need to get testy over it. Maybe u should submit a sample of your Battery vitamins to them and see if they would ‘pass’ it for use in their motive battery apps?

On August 31, 2015 at 12:54am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandevoot - You are not clueless. I believe that you are aware that the evidence is pointing to an small unknown manufacturer using a well known brand to provide endorsement of a product. Sulfation cures have been on the market for a very long time, long enough to have grown into a mature industry. There has been no sign of this. The makers of these products are struggling to build up volumes and appear to be improvising in order to at least sell something.

On August 31, 2015 at 11:24am
L.vandervoot wrote:

Ok, that brings up two things.
1) What in your opinion makes an industry mature, and why is that important here?
2) Volvo sounds like they did a licensing deal to me. Which is fine, where small innovations get picked up by major brands and then achieve market penetration and become a commodity item.

IMHO if Megapulse convinced VOLVO to brand their gizmo, then great. They have invented & innovated. I can see why they won’t detail precisely how their gizmo works….they’re in it for the $$$ and they have their ‘edge’. Coca Cola won’t ‘tell’ you how to make their recipe…

Since we don’t have figures on the gross sales of these ‘reconditioners’ we can’t talk about market size. There aren’t any really dominant entities it seems, which is just as well when you look at corporations like Microsoft and the old Ma bell.

On August 31, 2015 at 11:29am
L.vandervoot wrote:

I found this:

Seems they have been around at least a decade with an established product history.
10 years in today’s tech market sounds fairly mature to me.

On September 1, 2015 at 1:26am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandevoot - I don’t think that your two questions are significant in the context of this discussion.
You appear to be blithely assuming that big corporations are more than happy to embrace “gizmos”. They are acutely aware of the importance of their reputation. They are in the business of selling multi-million dollar products. Common sense tells then to avoid $129 “gizmos” like the plague.
Small operators will do anything to make their products appear bigger. So they persuade franchise operators who represent big corporations to air their promotional material. It is clever marketing. They are doing what you are doing - using words to build castles out of ordinary residences.
It is not difficult to measure the size of the “gizmo” market. One begins by collecting information from the websites. An assessment of the corporations can be begun by looking at the official corporation registration details. The names on file and the names of the managers can be used in searches at the various patent offices, patent assignment details as well as searches involving LinkedIn, geographic location, street views, publications, white pages, etc, etc. I have given only sample of the possibilities. There are ways of measuring traffic to websites. It is necessary to run a parallel search in an industry that is well documented, do a comparison, in order to be able to arrive at numbers that are usable.
It is not difficult to get hold of samples of “gizmo” devices and to run tests on them.

On September 2, 2015 at 3:16pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

The unfortunate thing about battery life extenders is that you’re not going to know if it works until a ways down the road, and then unless you have deployed a lot of them and traced the outcomes you still won’t have reliable data.

It’s kind of like saying prayers…

On September 3, 2015 at 2:15am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandevoot - What is most telling about the way in which you describe your take on such a situation is that it confirms that your expectations of technology have been tainted by ineradicable disappointments. There is another world, that does not rely on commendation by non-technical people and does not use disguises, that is sufficiently competent to produce technology that works and, most important of all, can explain how it works. It is not unalloyed data that sells but an ability to communicate openly, rationally and unambiguously.

On September 3, 2015 at 9:25am
L.vandervoot wrote:

What world is that? Or is that a philosophical premise?

On September 4, 2015 at 7:36am
John Fetter wrote:

L.vandevoot - It is a world that one finds oneself in when one is able to resist the temptation of selling sloppy technology with the aid of fancy labels.

On September 5, 2015 at 3:37am
John Fetter wrote:

l.vandevoot - Have a look at the technical background. There is a string of patent applications, including Australian, US, European and PCT, covering this product, dating back to the early 2000s. The inventor was evidently doing what most inventors in this line of business are doing - compulsively searching for something that works, never finding it. The entire string of patents, except the very last one, have been lapsed by the owner. There are no granted patents. There is no trace of any intellectual property assignment.
None of the patents provide an explanation of how the apparatus goes about improving the performance of a battery. The described product draws current from the battery to power the pulses that it sends back to the battery. The inventor, realizing that this would ultimately deplete the battery, included an undervoltage detector that switches off the power-hungry pulsing circuit, when the battery becomes fully discharged. The latest version goes one better. It puts a mini short circuit on the battery every 21 hours, ostensibly to test the internal resistance of the battery.
The maker of the product, unsurprisingly, advises the consumer to keep the battery charged. I think it would be preferable not to use any of these things and simply to charge the battery.

On September 13, 2015 at 10:59pm
L.vandervoot wrote:

I guess if almost all the patents lapsed, that is why so many different products are on the market. It is ‘unprotected’ tech?

On September 18, 2015 at 5:07am
Legal Eagle wrote:

Battery additive enthusiasts appear to have become doubly creative when they apply for patents for additives. People quite naturally expect a patent for a battery additive to be about improving battery life. If the additive is unlikely to achieve this objective, enthusiasts have discovered that it is still possible to secure a patent, still possible to go out and sell the product. The patent has to be extra carefully written. US Patent 5,945,236 is such a patent. The description provided by the patent draws the reader’s attention to numerous ideas that that can be used to improve battery performance, to persuade the reader into believing that the invention is about improving battery life.

The 5,945,236 main patent claim, which is, in effect, the legal definition of the patent, describes the invention thus:
“A lead-acid battery electrolyte fluid solution additive comprising: Aluminum Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Cadmium Sulfate, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Sulfate, and Deionized Water in a solution sufficient to affect battery life and wear”. I am told by battery engineers the list includes materials that can ruin a battery.

The patent specifies that the above sulfates “are mixed well to 4 parts deionized water and allowed to stand for approximately 20 minutes then bottled in light-proof glass or plastic bottle”. There is no mention whatsoever of how many parts of sulfate are used. To treat a battery, it says, “there is no need to empty and clean it out with water. Rather, between 15-100 ml of this additive solution is added per battery cell”.

The patent explains, “With respect to battery life, the 30 cycle test is too short compared to the overall life of a battery to make a clear judgment, but improvements in length of life can be inferred from the state of the electrolyte and the mechanical integrity of the plate fillings.”

The patent has a certain charm. It is an example of the many patents that describe inventions that actually shorten battery life.

On September 27, 2015 at 11:52am
L.vandervoot wrote:

The bit about copper sulfate is a surefire battery killer. I remember doing an electroplating experiment on an iron nail using copper sulfate. The nail is coated with a layer of copper.
No iron remains exposed.

So a lead plate battery with copper in the electrolyte, when charged,  will become a copper plated , lead plate battery, and the lead becomes isolated = end of rechargeable lead acid battery.

On October 7, 2015 at 1:13pm
Billy Jondek wrote:

This helped me soooooooooooooooooooo much. thanks!

On October 15, 2015 at 11:47pm
anand wrote:

hello guys.. i have a big problem and it’s just stressing me out.. today while i was using my camera my cycle energy battery fell down..and when i put it back my camera is not turning on?
am really confused.. is my camera dead or is my bettery dead?

On October 18, 2015 at 9:51am
Gooch wrote:

I have two deep cycle batteries (one 3yrs and one 8yrs) hooked up in series that are used to power a 12 volt sump pump that are used only when the A/C power fails. That batteries sit on the basement floor with about ½ inch insulation between the battery and the cement floor. There is a 400ma trickle charger used to keep the batteries charged. The sump only has water in it from December through April so I don’t need the battery back up the rest of the year. Question:  When there is no need for the battery operated sump pump (May – Nov), I have turning off the trickle charger. 
In mid October, I put a 1.25 amp charger and let it run for a couple of days.  At the end of the charger run, I measure the specific gravity of each cell and it ranges from 1.275 to above 1.300 which shows as “Good” on the Battery Tester.  Individual cells measure 1.65 to 2.35. Using an Actron Battery Load Tester with a 10 second load, both batteries test as “Good”.
Question:  Are there any changes or corrections that I need to make to my testing procedures to make sure the batteries are okay?

On October 18, 2015 at 9:53am
Gooch wrote:

correction “hooked up in parallel”

On March 4, 2016 at 7:35am
CBRC wrote:

Ancel B seems to have been misleading everyone. We are Caribbean Battery Recycling Limited, a battery recovery facility. We are not far away from him. He knows where we are. We provide a free service for the collection of expired, worn out lead acid batteries.

We sort and pack these batteries on pallets, shrink wrap, weigh and record these pallets, after which they are loaded onto 20ft containers for export to certified lead smelters globally. Where their primary export is refined lead and other materials recovered in the process of recycling industrial and consumer lead acid batteries.

We like to remind our customers that at the end of its life the battery is classified as a hazardous waste which can cause serious injury to both our health and the environment. That’s why our company fully understands the importance of the proper disposal of these lead acid batteries.

Want to get rid of your old batteries the right way? Caribbean Battery Recycling Limited, San Juan, Trinidad & Tobago.

On March 10, 2016 at 3:46am
Tom Ericson wrote:

Brian Nicholson has provided a link to one of the most dangerous websites on earth.

On November 22, 2016 at 11:18am
jeff johnson wrote:

We discovered an old BB-284/u battery in an RV we acquired. I was surprised to find it had -3.27 volt charge (yes, that is negative, I triple checked my measurement). Is there a recommended way to attempt to revive this battery? I’ve been working on old die hard circa 1980s for almost a month with some progress and was hoping this RV battery might be a viable revival test candidate.
Thanks for any feedback.

On December 14, 2016 at 2:05am
Old School wrote:

I doubt that’s recoverable jeff….but good luck. BTW who are these CBRC ppl….some kinda for profit outfit promoting their business here?

On December 28, 2016 at 10:50pm
sanjay wrote:

I have a 150 Ah tubular battery of 12 V for my inverter. It is around 18 months old. After fitting it my family forgot to top-up with water and the cells (six cells) got dry. Few days ago I added distilled water to each cell and connected the battery to booster charger (as after top-up the inverter was not able to charge the battery). But now one problem is here for us. Among the 6 cells, 5 cells are getting charged (the water is almost boiling) but one cell have no symptoms of charging (no boiling or bubbling). And the inverter have only 5-10 minute backup now.

So, please tell me…..is there any way to restore that cell??


On May 23, 2017 at 4:31am
nadeem ahmed wrote:

seems the one cell is dead / shorted -

do update us what happened in the last ?

On November 27, 2017 at 11:03am
Doubting Thomas wrote:

Originally, I was engaging in a search to determine if there was any merit to pulsing-type battery chargers, such as Pulsetech. After reading this discussion, I find that I actually know less now than when I started. Not all is lost, though; the knowledge, the ignorance and the disingenuity has been jolly good entertainment.

Thanks to Ancel, I have garnered some invaluable information, albeit not the information that I was seeking: one can take a four-week online course from a company that suggests an affiliated with MIT, buy a certificate for $99 that isn’t worth the copy paper that it is printed on, then claim on one’s linkedin profile to be MIT-educated.

On August 28, 2018 at 10:26am

we with you always..