Vanadium: The Next Big Commodity In Energy Storage

Vanadium (V) is a hard, silver-grey metallic element. It is a ductile transition metal with a natural resistance to corrosion and stability against alkalis, acids and salt water. More than 65 different minerals and fossil fuel deposits include vanadium. These deposits include vanadinite, carnotite, roscoelite and patronite. The production of steel alloys uses vanadium as a catalyst for the aerospace industry; in the making of ceramics, glasses, and pigments; and in vanadium redox batteries (VRBs) for large-scale storage of electricity.

Uses of Vanadium:

  • Played a major role in construction of buildings and bridges due to its ability to make steel stronger while reducing the weight. For example, the steel sections of Chicago’s famous Willis tower, the reinforced steel bars in Hong Kong Central Plaza and many other high rises being built in China.
  • Used to make steel alloys, for use in space vehicles, nuclear reactors and aircraft carriers, etc. Vanadium, combined with titanium, produces a stronger and more stable alloy, and when combined with aluminum produces a material suitable for jet engines and high-speed airframes. No acceptable substitutes exist for this mineral in aerospace titanium alloys.
  • Perfectly suited for creation of construction tools such as axes, piston rods and girders due to its steel alloys’ strength.
“Fact: Less than 0.1 percent of Vanadium is needed to double the strength of steel”


Vanadium redox batteries (VRBs)

The key metal used in the vanadium redox batteries is vanadium. VRBs are a type of rechargeable battery. The renewable energy storage including energy created by wind & solar farms can make great use of these VRBs. These batteries last longer and are more efficient than lithium batteries for grid storage.

VRBs are likely to have a bright future due to its energy storage potential and its advantages.

advantages of Vanadium batteries

Main advantages of the VRBs are:
  • Unlimited capacity is possible by using sequentially larger storage tanks.
  • No detrimental effects when left completely discharged for long periods of time.
  • Ease of recharging them by replacing the electrolyte if no power source is available to charge it.
  • Can withstand permanent damage in case of accidental mixing of electrolytes.

In the coming years, global demand for vanadium will grow quickly throughout the aerospace and battery industry. With the anticipated rise in demand of electric vehicles (EVs), VRBs will be essential for this transition. With the anticipated increase in demand for vanadium and the limited supply currently available, there will be a need to identify new sources and optimizing the extraction from currently defined sources. 

If you are interested to learn more about investing in Vanadium, check out Zimtu Capital’s equity holding Ares Strategic Mining.

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