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By Shane Lasley
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US Vanadium expanding electrolyte output

Lands contract to supply electrolyte for vanadium batteries Metal Tech News - September 3, 2021


Last updated 9/8/2021 at 2:22pm

vanadium redox flow battery CellCube Enerox US Vanadium Holding Company


Enerox is purchasing electrolyte from US Vanadium's facility in Arkansas for its North American production of CellCube vanadium redox flow batteries.

Working in partnership with Austria-based Enerox GmbH, US Vanadium Holding Company LLC is expanding its capacity to produce ultra-high-purity vanadium electrolyte at its facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Enerox recently entered into a contract to purchase 580,000 liters of the ultra-high-purity electrolyte produced by US Vanadium for vanadium redox flow batteries the European manufacturer sells under the brand name CellCube.

US Vanadium says this contract is believed to be one of the largest such procurements of ultra-high-purity electrolyte secured by a VRFB electrolyte producer outside China.

The electrolyte bought by Enerox will be used in an 8-megawatt-hour vanadium flow battery system to be installed at an industrial manufacturing site nearby Chicago, Illinois. This microgrid system will use the CellCube long-duration flow battery and a flywheel to store energy generated by rooftop solar.

With the capacity to operate at up to 150% of its nominal load, this hybrid system can provide the facility a flexible range of power, from 1 MW for 10 hours to as much as 3 MW for nearly two hours.

A $2.1 million expansion of US Vanadium's Hot Springs facility is designed to enable the company to produce more than 2.25 million liters of ultra-high-purity vanadium battery electrolyte per year for CellCube and other customers.

"US Vanadium looks forward to supplying CellCube with our high-quality VRFB electrolyte and to launching our expansion of electrolyte production capacity in Arkansas in partnership with CellCube," said US Vanadium Holding CEO Mark Smith. "This expansion allows US Vanadium to enter the next phase of our growth plan, which focuses on supplying the world's finest and highest purity VRFB electrolyte to multiple customers around the world."

For Enerox, this expansion helps secure the electrolyte needed to enable its battery storage ambitions in North America and helps insulate it from expected spikes in the price of vanadium as VFRB becomes more widely utilized for grid-scale renewable energy storage.

"We at CellCube are enthusiastic about having entered into this important partnership with US Vanadium," said Enerox CEO Alexander Schoenfeldt. "Operating our bankable CellCubes with ultra-high-purity vanadium electrolyte is key to achieving our goal of continuous operation of our flow batteries of 20 years or more."

Vanadium flow batteries, such as the CellCubes produced by Enerox, take advantage of vanadium's ability to exist in a solution in four different oxidation states. Leveraging this property, these batteries require just one element for both the positive and negative electrolyte solutions.

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 lifecycle basis, VRFB energy storage systems have shown the potential to be the superior choice for large-scale energy storage.

Wide adoption of these batteries for stationary storage could help diversify the market away from lithium-ion batteries, which already have massive new demand driven by electric vehicles.

electrolyte Arkansas domestic supply America U.S. VRFB pentoxide

W. Oelen/Creative Commons 3.0

Four oxidization states of vanadium in aqueous solution. Vanadium flow batteries take advantage of the multiple valence states of vanadium to store and release electrical energy, instead of separate anode and cathode elements.

According to the latest data from Roskill, a global leader in critical materials supply chain intelligence, the price of vanadium pentoxide has rocketed 80% to $9.60 per pound since the beginning of the year.

The analytical firm, which was bought out by Wood Mackenzie earlier this year, does not foresee significant new supplies coming online in the near term to meet potential significant new demand from energy storage if vanadium flow batteries become widely adopted.

Already a leading U.S. producer of high-purity vanadium and VRFB electrolyte products, US Vanadium also recently demonstrated its ability to recycle up to 97% of the vanadium pentoxide and vanadium trioxide from spent VRFB systems.

This recyclability of the liquid electrolyte in vanadium batteries provides another advantage for the sustainability and mass adoption of vanadium batteries.

"This technological breakthrough represents a large leap forward in realizing the revolutionary potential of vanadium redox flow battery systems," Smith said.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

With more than 14 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 907-726-1095


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