Sulfation: Archenemy of Lead-acid Batteries

Wouldn’t it be great to have a battery last for the life of the equipment it is used on? And wouldn’t it be great not having the inconvenience of a golf cart that won’t make it through a round of golf, or a forklift that can’t work through an entire shift without recharging? The financial burden of replacing batteries can be lowered, if you understand the main cause for battery failure…sulfation.

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Sulfation is the formation of sulfate crystals on the surface of the battery’s lead plates. As more and more crystals form on these plates and either the active lead material or sulfate from the electrolyte is no longer available the battery is considered discharged. The battery must then be recharged to reverse this process and return the sulfate back to the electrolyte. Sounds simple enough, right? The problem is, not all of the sulfation crystals are reversed back into the electrolyte. Repeatedly failing to completely reverse the formation of sulfation crystals will ultimately cause your capacity or “run time” to diminish.

Battery Sulfation Over Time

So how can you address this constant internal battle between your battery and its archenemy, sulfation? Consider some of the factors that led to sulfation winning this battle…

Inactivity: The longer that battery sits in a discharged state, the harder the crystals will become and less sulfation will be reversed during its next charge cycle. Get that discharged battery charging asap!

Electrolyte Level: With the addition of tools like the Remote Battery Water Monitor, knowing when to water your batteries is becoming much easier. When the battery’s plates are exposed to air, sulfation will occur immediately. Water your batteries!

Opportunity Charging: Failing to get a proper discharge or full charge will lead to sulfation issues. Plugging in for 30 minutes at a time just to get a little extra run time in the middle of a shift will cause problems down the road. Let the charger complete its job!


While sulfation will always cause trouble for your battery’s capacity, you now have the ability to put sulfation back in its place by utilizing the Xtender Battery Regenerator. Through an entirely electronic and labor free process, the Xtender is able to dissolve the sulfation crystals that have formed from years of buildup on your battery’s lead plates. The Xtender will reverse the sulfation process and increase the capacity of your once declining battery and increase its service life. Visit to learn more, or contact us to schedule a demo at your facility!

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