Q: What is Vanadium?
A: Vanadium is an elemental metal that occurs naturally in certain mineral deposits, including Uranium. It is mainly used to produce specialty steel alloys.
Q: Which countries produce Vanadium?
A: Currently, the largest producer of Vanadium is China, with around 53% of total production. Russia, South Africa and Brazil also produce a significant amount of Vanadium.
Q: How is Vanadium produced?
A: Vanadium is often produced as a by-product in the production of other metals and minerals. As vanadium occurs naturally in some uranium deposits, it is also a by-product of the uranium production process.
Q: What are the applications of Vanadium?
A: Currently, around 85% of vanadium is used as ferrovanadium or as a steel additive. The addition of vanadium in alloys increases the strength of the metal which is then used in axles, gears, crankshafts and a range of high-speed tools.
Vanadium has also been proposed for use in sustainable energy generation, including as a high energy density anode for lithium ion batteries or as the main component in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFB).
Q: What is a Vanadium Redox Flow Battery?
A: The Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB) is a type of rechargeable flow battery that utilises vanadium ions to store chemical potential energy. Advantages of VRFBs include:
- A long lifespan of over 20 years
- Can be discharged fully without damage to the battery and is non-flammable
- Reliable supply of uninterrupted power that is ideal for renewable energy
Q: What are the applications of Vanadium batteries?
A: VRFBs work with a wide range of sustainable energy applications including: Utilities, commercial & industrial, Electric Vehicle charging, telecommunications, Grid & off-grid applications as well as in conjunction with solar, wind and residential power.