Vanadium Market: Overview
Vanadium, atomic number 23 and denoted by symbol ‘V’, is a chemical element. Vanadium is silvery-grey in color, hard, ductile, and malleable transition metal. It is found naturally in 65 minerals and fossil fuel deposits. Vanadium is a secondary product of uranium mining or produced from steel smelter slag and flue dust of heavy oil. It is specially used to produce steel alloys, such as, high-speed tool steels and also acts as a catalyst in the creation of sulfuric acid.
Vanadium is thermally insulating and electrically conductive. Vanadium has good resistance to corrosion and is chemically stable against sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. Oxidization takes place in the air at 660 °C, and also at room temperature a small layer is formed over the metal surface which acts as a shield.
Vanadium Market: Drivers & Restraints
Ferro vanadium is an alloy formed by mixing iron and vanadium, with vanadium content of 35%-85%. Ferro vanadium is widely used in the production of steel. Hardened steel can be used for a number of applications, such as, crankshafts, bicycle frames, axles, and other steel components. As vanadium reduces the overall weight of the system, it is widely used in the automobile industry and is also used to manufacture high speed tool steels and rust resistant springs.
Vanadium is a supplement used as medicine for curing diabetics and pre-diabetes, low blood sugar, heart diseases, and also for improving athletic performance. Vanadium may act like an insulin, as there is evidence that it can increase the effect of insulin. Vanadium is unsafe if consumed in large amounts and for long time as it may cause serious effects, such as, kidney damage.
Vanadium Market: Key Segments
The vanadium market can be segmented based on grade, production process, end-use, and region. Vanadium grades consist of FeV40, FeV50, FeV60, and FeV80. The production process comprises aluminothermic reduction technique and silicon reduction technique. Aluminothermic reduction is carbon-free extraction process of heavy reducible metals, such as, vanadium, chromium, titanium, and others through aluminum.
Based on end-use, the vanadium market can be classified into automotive chemical, energy storage, and others. In automobile, vanadium is added to vehicle bodies to make them lighter and stronger, thereby making them more fuel efficient. Automobile companies are estimated to incorporate the use of vanadium alloy on a large scale. Vanadium’s corrosion-resistant properties make it suitable for carrying and storing various chemicals. In energy storage, vanadium redox battery is used to store energy. Vanadium redox battery uses vanadium ions in different oxidation states to store chemical potential energy. Other end-uses of vanadium consists of vanadium-titanium alloy for aerospace application, as titanium- vanadium alloy possesses the best strength to weight ratio.
Vanadium Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global vanadium market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is projected to lead the market during the forecast period. China, India, and Japan are among the major producers of vanadium. There are number of vanadium mines in China and Japan. Japan is also a leading producer and consumer of vanadium and also has a highly developed steel industry. The vanadium market in North America is growing at rapidly, while demand for vanadium in Europe is estimated to increase in the next few years. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are expected to account for moderate share of the global vanadium market.
Vanadium Market: Key Players
Major market players operating in the global vanadium market include Atlantic, Treibacher Industrie AG., Tremond Alloys & Metals Corp., Globe Specialty Metals, Inc., Bear Metallurgical Company, and AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group.