Vanadium is a hard, silvery-grey, malleable transition metal. The elemental metal that is ranked the fifth most abundant is stabilized against further oxidation by being isolated artificially to create an oxide layer that works as a protective film.
Mainly used as a steel additive, vanadium alloys are tough, making them shock and vibration resistant. Such qualities make them favorable for making amour plates, crankshafts, piston rods, and other tools in construction.
Furthermore, due to its low neutron-absorbing properties, vanadium is frequently used in nuclear reactors, and as a pigment for ceramics and glass.
With a market that stands at US$ 46.2 billion in 2023, the vanadium market is expected to maintain its steady growth. The reason behind its soaring market share lies, in part, in the following vanadium market trends:
Increase in Demand for Vanadium in Energy Storage Applications
Vanadium is becoming increasingly important in energy storage, especially in grid-scale batteries.
The growth of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) can be linked to their notable advantages over other batteries, which include:
- Their almost unlimited capacity
- They can be recharged through electrolytes
- They can discharge power for long periods
Emphasis on renewable energy and the need for efficient energy storage solutions are major drivers for vanadium demand. In addition, government policies supporting renewable energy storage are expected to boost the vanadium market further.
Huge Demand in the Medical Industry
Vanadium demand in the medical industry has led manufacturers to explore the market by introducing vanadium in medical formulas for low blood sugar, pre-diabetes or diabetes, heart disease, and athletic performance.
Its Use in the Automobile Sector
Ferrovanadium, an alloy of vanadium that increases fuel efficiency and reduces weight, is largely responsible for the meteoric rise of vanadium demand in the automobile sector.
As vehicle manufacturers continue to research materials that weigh less but improve the structural integrity of their products, ferrovanadium becomes a critical resource that many producers are switching to in efforts to future-proof their offerings.
Demand in the Steel Industry
An increase in the manufacture of vanadium alloys due to their know qualities such as durability, high tensile strength, and corrosion resistance has created numerous beneficial opportunities for market growth.
Production of Artificial Vanadium
This is a trend most investors are pushing for due to the rise in demand for vanadium, t. Artificial Vanadium can be used in the automobile and steel sectors as well as in the aerospace industry.
Its Recognition in the Food Industry
Vanadium is a potential candidate for managing diabetes and obesity due to being naturally present in plants. It has been shown to play a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids.
Moreover, it has been used routinely as a food additive to enhance the nutritional value of certain foods and extend the shelf life of processed foods. Vanadium may also contain antioxidant properties, which could help protect cells from oxidative damage.
The best food sources for the trace mineral are mushrooms, shellfish, black pepper, parsley, dill weed, beer, wine, grain and grain products, and artificially sweetened drinks.
However, the optimal intake of the mineral in the diet and its potential side effects are still being researched, and caution should be exercised when using it as a supplement or food additive.
A Pigment for Ceramics
Vanadium-based pigments are known for their excellent color stability and resistance to fading, making them ideal for use in ceramic glazes and glaze coatings.
Their compatibility with various ceramic materials and firing temperatures make them ideal in ceramic production, an avenue that has led to significant investments by manufacturers and shareholders of vanadium companies.
Due to its increased demand from industries like steel production, energy storage, and ceramics, the vanadium market is expected to continue experiencing dynamic trends in 2023.
Demand for sustainable energy and the growing adoption of renewable energy is expected to further boost the demand for vanadium, especially due to the increased production of redox flow batteries.
The ongoing research on the potential health benefits of vanadium in managing diabetes and obesity may create opportunities for its use in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
However, market dynamics such as fluctuating prices of raw materials, regulatory changes, and geopolitical factors may impact the vanadium market in 2023, demand for the mineral is expected to keep rising in the foreseeable future.