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Science Innovation Centre · 023 · Vanadium

This element is no longer available.

Vanadium is a rare, soft, ductile grey-white element found combined in certain minerals and used mainly to produce certain alloys. Vanadium resists corrosion due to a protective film of oxide on the surface. Common oxidation states of vanadium include +2, +3, +4 and +5.

Most of the vanadium (about 80%) produced is used as ferrovanadium or as a steel additive. Mixed with aluminium in titanium alloys is used in jet engines and high speed air-frames, and steel alloys are used in axles, crankshafts, gears and other critical components. Vanadium alloys are also used in nuclear reactors because vanadium has low neutron-adsorption abilities and it doesn’t not deform in creeping under high temperatures.

Vanadium oxide (V2O5) is used as a catalyst in manufacturing sulphuric acid and maleic anhydride and in making ceramics. It is added to glass to produce green or blue tint. Glass coated with vanadium dioxide (VO2) can block infrared radiation at some specific temperature.