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By Shane Lasley
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US Vanadium electrolyte plant complete

Arkansas plant now makes vanadium flow battery electrolyte Metal Tech News – February 2, 2022


Last updated 2/15/2022 at 3:03pm

vanadium redox flow batteries electrolyte US Vanadium Holding Company Arkansas

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Traditionally used to strengthen steels and other alloys, vanadium's special properties are finding new demand as an electrolyte for redox flow batteries.

With the recent completion of a $2 million expansion, US Vanadium Holding Company LLC is now able to produce up to 4 million liters of ultra-high-purity electrolyte for vanadium redox flow batteries per year at its facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

"We are very pleased to announce the completion of this major expansion of our ability to produce ultra-high-purity electrolyte for vanadium redox flow batteries," said US Vanadium CEO Mark Smith. "This milestone establishes Arkansas and the U.S. as a major global producer of this high-value material, and we look forward to seeing our ultra-high-purity electrolyte used in battery applications for renewable energy systems around the world."

Vanadium redox flow batteries, or VRFBs, 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 costs, VRFB energy storage systems have demonstrated their potential as a superior choice for large-scale energy storage.

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

With the Hot Springs facility expansion, US Vanadium now has the capacity to produce 4 million liters of vanadium electrolyte each year, enough to enable reliable power backup for roughly 73 megawatt-hours of renewable energy. This is approximately the amount of electricity used by 60,000 average U.S. homes.

The electrolyte and other high-purity vanadium-based products produced at US Vanadium's Arkansas facility are recovered from a variety of post-industrial waste streams. This means the electrolyte it produces has a much smaller carbon footprint than if it were generated from primary vanadium mining operations, a climate advantage that would be passed on to the renewable energy projects that utilize the electrolyte in their storage systems, according to the company.

US Vanadium is currently producing electrolyte for an 8MWh VRFB microgrid system operated by Austria-based Enerox GmbH. This renewable energy storage will utilize Enerox' CellCube long-duration vanadium flow batteries and a flywheel to store energy generated by rooftop solar at an industrial manufacturing site near Chicago, Illinois.

For the batteries at this facility, Enerox entered into an agreement to acquire 580,000 liters of high-purity electrolyte from US Vanadium, believed to be one of the largest such purchases from a vanadium electrolyte producer outside China.

US Vanadium says the new Hot Springs electrolyte production facility, which lies adjacent to the vanadium oxide production facilities, puts the company in the unique position of controlling the entire supply chain for ultra-high-purity vanadium electrolyte.

vanadium redox flow batteries electrolyte US Vanadium Holding Company Arkansas

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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.

In addition to VRFB electrolytes, US Vanadium also supplies high-purity vanadium oxides and downstream vanadium chemicals to various chemical and catalyst production applications.

More information on vanadium uses and markets can be found at Battery valences power vanadium demand in the Critical Minerals Alliances magazine published by Data Mine North.

The Hot Springs facility also supports the production of titanium alloys in the U.S. that are critical for defense, commercial aerospace, and industrial applications.

More information on the markets and uses of titanium can be read at Titanium demand drivers are in whitening in the Critical Minerals Alliances magazine published by Data Mine North.

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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