Vanadium redox flow batteries are being developed for shipping applications by corporate and research partners in Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada, and cost-competitiveness could be enhanced by leasing the 100% reusable electrolyte to shipowners.
Vanadium is a soft, grey, plentiful metal mainly produced from magnetite. It has the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal, and it also defies the Wiedemann-Franz Law which states that good conductors of electricity are also good conductors of heat.
Vanadium redox flow battery technologies date back to the 1980s, with work led by Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos of the University of NSW (UNSW Sydney) in Australia. The first patent for the All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery was filed in 1986, and this was the start of a 35-year program at UNSW that continues today.
Ferro-Alloy Resources Limited (LON:FAR) is developing the giant Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in Kyzylordinskaya oblast of southern Kazakhstan. The ore at this deposit is unlike that of nearly all other primary vanadium deposits and is capable of being treated by a much lower cost process.