High Purity Vanadium Products
There is only a small fraction of the vanadium supply base that can meet the requirements of the specialty markets.
Outside of the steel industry, vanadium is used in titanium alloys in a variety of chemical catalysts and processes, and in energy storage systems.
North America represents the predominant global market for high purity vanadium products. There is currently no primary supplier and secondary supply is reliant on secondary steel coproduction.
Significant amounts of “high purity” and “technical grade” vanadium pentoxide are used in a variety of chemical processes and catalysts. There are roughly another 10 vanadium chemicals consumed in the specialty market with smaller volumes.
Vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) installations have begun to grow dramatically and, as a result, electrolyte for VRFB batteries is now the second largest specialty market for vanadium
Approximately 7,100 metric tons of pure vanadium were consumed in the specialty applications for vanadium in 2015.
The quality requirement for vanadium pentoxide in specialty applications varies from application to application, and from customer to customer. Therefore, there is a continuum of specifications for vanadium pentoxide in the specialty markets. A typical “technical grade” vanadium pentoxide specification may call for material to be 99.2% pure with modest limits of trace elements including iron, potassium, sodium and silicon.
“High Purity” vanadium pentoxide is typically considered to be 99.6% purity minimum with more stringent limits on impurities). In some applications for “high purity” vanadium pentoxide, the V2O5 content of the material, as well as, the particle size and particle morphology are very important.