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U.S. Vanadium secures five-year supply of vanadium feed material

September 13, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
Mark A. Smith, US Vanadium board chairman. - Submitted photo

U.S. Vanadium recently announce that it has secured a five-year supply of vanadium feed material as it continues to ramp up production of high-purity vanadium oxide and ultra-high-purity electrolyte for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries at its Hot Springs facility, a news release said.

USV recovers vanadium from this feed material, sourced from India, and processes it into the world's highest-purity vanadium oxides and downstream vanadium chemicals, including ultra-high-purity VRFB electrolyte. USV also processes vanadium feedstock streams from a variety of other sources, the release said.

"We are pleased to have secured five years of supply of this high-volume and high-quality feedstock, as this will enable us to significantly expand our production operations while also further diversifying our vanadium feedstock supply chains," Mark A. Smith, chairman and CEO of USV, said in the release.

"This material will help us serve the needs of titanium alloy producers and vanadium specialty chemicals markets, as well as help us to significantly ramp up our production of ultra-high-purity VRFB electrolyte that is in growing demand by the rapidly expanding VRFB industry."

Named as a "Critical Mineral" by the federal government in 2018, vanadium is used extensively as an additive to titanium-aluminum alloys used in jet engines and high-speed aircraft, both in the defense and commercial sectors, and it is a key additive to high-strength, low-alloy steel used in armor plate, axles, tools, piston rods and crankshafts, and mega-construction projects, the release said.

"In its ultra-high-purity form, vanadium is a critical component in the electrolyte that enables operation of VRFBs, which are rechargeable batteries that take advantage of the fact that vanadium ions in different oxidation states can efficiently store chemical potential energy. VRFBs allow for an almost unlimited energy capacity, can be discharged to very high percentages without damage, have very long cycle lives (at least 15,000-20,000 charge/discharge cycles), and can remain unused for long periods without permanent effects to the system," it said.

"Because of their nearly unlimited energy storage capacity, high efficiency, zero emissions, very long cycle lives, and relatively low cost of available electricity on a life cycle basis, VRFB energy storage systems are enabling consumers to utilize renewable energy systems for 100% of their actual power needs without having to rely on renewable energy credits and other accounting offsets."

US Vanadium produces "the world's highest purity V2O5, V2O3, and downstream vanadium chemicals including VRFB electrolyte by recovering contained vanadium from a variety of postindustrial waste streams, which underscores US Vanadium's commitment to maximizing sustainable practices in its operations," the release said.

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