In this study, three types of alkyl sulfonate anthraquinones, (1-hydroxy-2-oxopropane sulfonic acid anthraquinone (1,2-AQPSH2), 2,6-dioxopropane sulfonic acid anthraquinone (2,6-AQDPSH2), and 1-hydroxy-2-oxopropane sulfonic acid anthraquinone (1,4-AQPSH2), were synthesized using propane sultone from 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone, 2,6-dihydroxyanthraquinone and 1,4-dihydroxyanthracene, respectively. Solubility and the oxidation-reduction properties of these three anthraquinones in 1 mol/L NaCl aqueous solution under neutral conditions were studied in detail. 1,4-AQPSH2 was selected and used as an anodolyte, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinol (4-OH-TEMPO) was used as a catholyte, and Nafion 212 was used as an ion-exchange membrane to assemble a neutral water-based organic redox flow battery cell. Open circuit voltage of the flow battery was about 1.0 V; at a current density of 60 mA·cm-2, the Coulombic efficiency, energy efficiency, and voltage efficiency of the cell were 97%, 68%, and 69%, respectively. At a current density of 60 mA·cm-2, there was no substantial reduction in the discharge capacity of the battery after 75 charging and discharging cycles. These results demonstrate that 1,4-AQPSH2 shows promise as an anolyte for neutral water-based organic redox flow batteries.