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Acid Measurement

A Jumpstart for Acid Measurement in Battery Production

| Author / Editor: Kornelia Froech, Gerald Schwarz* / Dominik Stephan

The stand-alone density sensor L-Dens 3300
The stand-alone density sensor L-Dens 3300 (Source: Anton Paar)

Lead-acid battery production: Optimized formation and fast production change with process concentration measurement — A reliable inline sulfuric acid concentration measurement ensures the quality of the formation process and the final H2SO4 concentration in the battery. It also reduces the shutdown time during production change at the filling station.

The lead-acid battery is the oldest and most proven type of rechargeable battery. Because of its low price and the relatively large power-to-weight ratio it is mainly used as an automotive starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) battery, despite its very small energy-to-weight ratio. The main components of a lead-acid battery are anodes made of lead, cathodes made of lead dioxides as well as diluted sulfuric acid (H2SO4) as the electrolyte. During the production process of a lead-acid battery sulfuric acid in different concentrations is required. The acid concentration not only depends on the production step, but also on the type and size of the battery.

The first production step in which sulfuric acid is required is the formation of the plates. During the formation, alpha and beta PbO2 are formed on the positive plates. The ratio between alpha and beta PbO2 has a direct impact on the current efficiency of the battery. The H2SO4 concentration during formation is one important parameter to achieve the correct ratio.

* * The authors are working for Anton Paar’s Product Management and Product Competence line, respectively, Graz/Austria.

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