I am Sylph Dominic Hawkins, that's my youtube clip above and my paper that you linked to. ^_^
The link you have provided is broken though, because you linked to the exact paper by version number, and I update the paper and re-release the new version with the new number when I can. I post updates to the new URL for the paper, but for a permalink, the latest version can be found by following this URL:
Don't worry that it says v1.1 in the link, it's a PDF with a link out to the latest version.
Re: my work.
There are so many arms of Lead-Acid chemistry and utilising alternative electrolytes is just one area.
Desulphating and rejuvenating old FLA cells is another huge and exciting area.
10 years ago I couldn't join the dots either when it came to the science behind "how and why", but now I have a firm grasp on the processes involved, and years of tests to demonstrate it.
I am finishing off my latest version of another paper title "Desulphating Lead Acid Batteries", and there will be a link to it also from the same PDF file above on my website.
Don't expect it until end of 2018 though :)
The latest version of my "Alternative Electrolytes for Lead Acid Batteries" paper is up to v.1.5, and I went back and basically re-wrote 20 pages of the previous paper, so keep up to date with the revisions. :)
At this stage, in terms of a good all-rounder electrolyte for a simple liquid replacement, the winner has to be one of the "double metal sulphates" or "alums".
It doesn't only refer to Potassium-Aluminium-Sulphate (which is commonly also called "Alum"), but can work with various double metal bound sulphate compounds.
I have had good successes using Sodium-Aluminium-Sulphate as it has a higher solubility than the Potassium counterpart, and I can get higher molar concentrations per Litre, which acts more on plate surface area to provide a larger overall Ah/capacity.
Note though, the working characterises of the lead-acid cell are changed substantially!. I have found that a large difference occurs even depending on "how" one prepares the double metal sulphate compound. For example, taking a working pre-charged lead-acid cell (meaning that the positrode is a mixture of PbO and PbO2 and the negatrode is a spongy lead mass) and filling it with Aluminium sulphate, charging it at a 1C rate at 4v, (it plates the Aluminium onto the negative electrode fully) then adding Sodium sulphate and discharging provides very different results and discharge curves than pre-preparing the Sodium-Aluminium-Sulphate (NaAl(SO4)2) first and then filling the cell. See the discharge graph below for a "plated aluminium" lead acid battery. Performance gives around 1/5 of rated Ah capacity of normal Lead-Acid using Sulphuric acid at a 5M ratio, but I found no lead-sulphate formation upon 100% discharges. See the attached various discharge charts for different electrolyte compounds compared to the same 100Ah rated Lead-Acid cell.
I have come to have the opinion that, in regards to the current standard Lead-Acid chemistry, A low pH is definitely required to ensure the formation of PbO/PbO2 oxide layers on the positrode plates, and that a range of alternative electrolytes will work if they also have low pH values. Once you start to cut down the list of compounds and options though, because you don't want to produce any soluble lead-compounds, the list narrows down very quickly. ^_^
- Sylph Hawkins