Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery-grey, ductile, and malleable transition metal. The element is found in minerals such as vanadinite, carnotite, and patronite, and is primarily mined in Russia, China, South Africa, and Brazil.
Vanadium has a number of industrial uses, including steel production, aerospace, and energy storage. In steel production, vanadium is added to steel to increase strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance. It is also used in aerospace applications, such as in the construction of jet engines and airframes, due to its high strength and heat resistance.
One of the most promising uses for vanadium is in energy storage. Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) are a type of flow battery that uses vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store energy. These batteries have a very long lifespan and can store energy for long periods of time, making them a potential solution for large-scale energy storage. VRFBs are also environmentally friendly and have a high energy density, making them a viable alternative to traditional batteries.
Another area where vanadium is being researched for is catalytic applications. Vanadium compounds have been found to be effective catalysts for certain chemical reactions, such as the production of sulfuric acid and the catalytic cracking of heavy oil in the petroleum industry.
Ferro-Alloy Resources Ltd (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.