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CellCube secures US Vanadium electrolyte

Agrees to purchase up to 3 million liters per year for its VRFBs Metal Tech News – March 2, 2022

Getting ahead of the expected growing demand for vanadium redox flow batteries in North America, Austria-based Enerox GmbH has significantly expanded its agreement to buy electrolyte for its CellCube VRFB from US Vanadium LLC.

"As part of our go-to-market in North America, we want to use electrolyte which has been regionally processed within North America ensuring long-term deliverability at a competitive price," said CellCube CEO Alexander Schoenfeldt.

After an expansion completed in February, the US Vanadium facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has the capacity to produce 4 million liters of ultra-high-purity electrolyte for VRFBs per year.

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.

"We are pleased to have secured access to U.S.-Vanadium's ultra-high pure electrolyte long-term which in combination with our own post-production handling in the US marks the opening of a new era of cooperation in the industry," Schoenfeldt added.

Leveraging vanadium's ability to exist in a solution in four different oxidation states, VRFBs use this 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.

CellCube says the demand for the long-duration energy storage solutions that vanadium batteries offer has reached an all-time high, especially during the last year after the more aggressive climate commitments made by most countries during the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Austrian company says the microgrid market in the U.S. is a significant contributor to exploding demand that is creating a vanadium supply situation.

A key CellCube activity, currently being installed in the United States as part of a resilient and sustainable microgrid, has been the kick-off project for the cooperation with USV.

CellCube is currently installing an eight-megawatt-hour VRFB microgrid system that uses US Vanadium electrolyte at an industrial manufacturing site near Chicago, Illinois. At the time, CellCube entered into an agreement to purchase 580,000 liters of high-purity electrolyte per year from US Vanadium.

Under the new agreement, CellCube can purchase up to 3 million liters of US Vanadium electrolyte per year.

"This agreement reflects today's rapidly accelerating growth of the vanadium redox flow battery industry and of US Vanadium's ability to supply VRFB manufacturers with Made-in-America ultra-high-purity electrolyte," said US Vanadium CEO Mark Smith. "We look forward to supplying CellCube, and customers around the world, with the finest and highest purity VRFB electrolyte now available on the market."

In addition to securing a reasonably priced supply during what is expected to be a competitive market, CellCube says the purchase agreement ensures the quality and consistency of the electrolyte going into its vanadium batteries.

"This move is aimed at more standardization of electrolyte and its processing to achieve high quality performance for a 20-year-plus operation without any capacity loss," Schoenfeldt said.

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Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.


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