Excitement about this lesser-known metal is gathering pace, as is demand…
A by-product of iron-ore, vanadium is becoming hugely valuable in manufacturing due to its malleable, ductile and corrosion-resistant qualities. When coated with nitrated ferrovanadium, the abrasion resistance of steel increases by 30-50%. It’s often used in making tough tools and car parts, among many other products.
Critical European supply
The European Commission has listed vanadium as a ‘Critical Raw Material’ once again in 2020 for key industry sectors and the sustainable functioning of the European economy. As steel production accounts for the vast majority of vanadium consumption (and with China increasing its enforcement of new high-strength rebar standards), the need for vanadium in construction is still high. With vanadium demand continuing to grow, Norway is perfectly poised to become a supply powerhouse in the future.
Renewable energy potential
The most exciting use of vanadium, lies in its game-changing potential in efficient power storage for renewable energy, such as hydro, wind and solar. Vanadium-based ‘redox flow’ batteries have a long life cycle (decades) as they can be re-charged thousands of times – and retain their value. As research into how to diminish their size develops, they may have a pivotal role to play in our electric vehicle revolution as a replacement for less efficient and highly contaminative lithium-ion batteries.