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About Vanadium

Vanadium Bohr

Vanadium is a d-block transition metal that exists in nature in multiple oxidation states, each of which imparts a distinctive color to its salts: purple/lavender/violet (+2), green (+3), blue (+4), and yellow (+5). This brilliance of these colors inspired Swedish chemist Nils Gabriel Selfström to name the new element he had isolated from a sample of wrought iron after Vanadis, another name for Freyja, the Norse goddess of beauty, love, and fertility. However, Selfström’s 1830 experiment does not mark the element’s first discovery; 29 years earlier in Mexico, Spanish mineralogist Andrés Manuel del Río had isolated numerous compounds from a sample of a mineral he termed “brown lead” (later renamed vanadinite) and determined that they contained a new element he named panchromium, for multi-colored, and later renamed to erythronium, Greek for “red,” after the red color the compounds took when heated. However, upon sharing his results with the Academie des Sciences de Paris, he was advised that he had merely produced an impure form of chromium. After attempts to obtain the metal by Berzelius and Wohler, and Henry Roscoe succeeded in 1867 by reducing the chloride with hydrogen. Industrial applications of vanadium compounds were limited to use as catalysts for the production of pigments and as mordants in dyeing printing fabrics until 1900, when Henry Ford employed vanadium steel in the production of the Model T.

Natural vanadium is composed of two isotopes, one stable 51V 7 and one radioactive 50V, and is the fifth most abundant transition metal in the earth’s crust, though it does not occur freely. The most common mineral sources of vanadium are vanadinite, carnotite and patronite, but it can also be found in over 65 different minerals including ores of titanium, uranium, and iron, phosphate rocks, and fossil fuel deposits such as crude and shale oils in the form of organic complexes. Vanadium pentoxide is the most common form of the element obtained; the metal is more difficult to produce due to its high reactive at the melting point of its oxide. Methods of obtaining high purity vanadium include reduction of its chloride with magnesium under an inert gas atmosphere and calcium reduction of the oxide in a pressure vessel. Metallic vanadium is ductile and malleable with a shiny gray appearance and is occasionally classified as a refractory metal owing to its high melting point and resistance to corrosion. The metal possesses a relatively low density and medium hardness and resists oxidation and attack by alkalis and most acids at temperatures lower than 600 C.

Its thermal and electrical conductivity and strength is superior to that of titanium, and the majority of its commercial use (~92%) is in the production of alloys. Adding even a small amount of vanadium to steel dramatically increases its tensile strength and hardness, in addition to providing shock and vibration resistance; vanadium steel, also referred to as “tool steel” or “high-speed steel,” is one of the strongest alloys used in armor plates, piston rods, jet engines, cutting tools, and other equipment parts. Vanadium steel is also used in the cores of nuclear reactors due to its resistance to corrosion and high temperatures in addition to vanadium’s excellent thermal neutron-capture cross-section. Ferrovanadium is a similarly strong, shock resistant and corrosion resistant iron alloy produced by reduction of vanadium pentoxide by aluminum or silicon in the presence of iron under an electric arc furnace. Ferrovanadium melts more easily than pure vanadium, and is often used as a master alloy to be added to steel before casting. Common nonferrous vanadium alloys include Titanium 6AL-4V used in aircraft and dental alloys (owing to the natural antibacterial properties of titanium); vanadium foil is also used to clad titanium to steel. Vanadium-silicon (V3Si) is classified as an A15-phase compound, an intermetallic crystalline compound composed of a transition metal (“A”) and any other element (“B”) with the formula A3B; V3Si was the first such compound discovered to exhibit superconductivity in 1953. Additionally, mixing vanadium and gallium in the ratio V3Ga yields a superconducting alloy used in the coils of superconducting electromagnets, either in the form of a wire or tape.

The most commercially significant form of vanadium is vanadium pentoxide. It is primarily used is in the production of ferrovanadium and as an industrial catalyst for the production of sulfuring acid; it can as function as a mordant or a ceramic pigment. Compounds that contain vanadium in a (+5) oxidation state are used as oxidizing agents in chemical reactions, whereas vanadium(2+) compounds are used as reducing agents. The pentoxide and ammonium metavanadate are both excellent oxidation employed by the chemical industry to produce sulfuric acid, synthetic plastics, and other organic compounds. Some vanadium compounds have applications in the field of medicine such as treatments for diabetes mellitus and nutritional supplements; the isotope 51V is used in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR spectroscopy). However, all vanadium compound are considered toxic to humans to some degree, particularly those with vanadium in a higher valence state. Trace amounts of the element exist in foods, the major source of exposure to the general public, but powdered forms of vanadium compounds are particularly hazardous due to the danger of inhalation and the ease with which the lungs absorb soluble vanadium salts.

The role of vanadium in advanced and emerging technologies is increasing due to the unique properties of its compounds. In particular, vanadium redox (or flow) batteries have gained attention in recent years as viable alternatives to the dominant lithium-ion technology currently in use. These rechargeable batteries store energy via continuously recyclable aqueous solutions of vanadium redox couples in both electrodes, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination of the electrolyte and yielding a low cost, high-efficiency energy source that has been investigated for potential use in hybrid and electric vehicles. Two-dimensional nanosheets of vanadium pentoxide have demonstrated favorable properties that could lead to their use as electrodes in supercapacitors.Vanadium dioxide has also gained attention for its unique properties. It is one of the few known materials that undergoes a metal-insulator transition: acting as an insulator at low temperatures, the material rearranges its electrons in an abrupt shift (taking only 10-trillionth of a second) to act like a conductor at 67 degrees Celsius. At 65 degrees, it enters a solid-state triple point--the first material in which researchers have ever accurately pinpointed. Some experiments into the uses of vanadium dioxide include the work of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who used vanadium dioxide to fabricate a micro-sized artificial muscle-motor that exhibited extremely high power density and resilience. Thin ribbons of vanadium dioxide alternating with graphene have shown to be a highly efficient cathode material for lithium-ion batteries that could significantly increase power and energy density, and it has also been investigated as a metamaterial.

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Summary. Vanadium is highly resistant to corrosion, and thus is commonly added to stainless steel alloys. Vanadium compounds are used in advanced ceramics. High Purity (99.999%) Vanadium (V) Sputtering TargetVanadium's most important compound, vanadium pentoxide, is used as a catalyst for the production of sulfuric acid. Vanadium is available as metal and compounds with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity). High Purity (99.999%) Vanadium Oxide (V2O3) PowderElemental or metallic forms include pellets, rod, wire and granules for evaporation source material purposes. Vanadium nanoparticles and nanopowders provide ultra-high surface area. Oxides are available in powder and dense pellet form for such uses as optical coating and thin film applications. Oxides tend to be insoluble. Vanadium fluorides are another insoluble form for uses in which oxygen is undesirable such as metallurgy, chemical and physical vapor deposition and in some optical coatings. Vanadium is also available in soluble forms including chlorides and acetates. These compounds can be manufactured as solutions at specified stoichiometries.

Vanadium Properties

Vanadium(V) atomic and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbolVanadium is a Block D, Group 5, Period 4 element. Vanadium Bohr ModelThe number of electrons in each of Vanadium's shells is 2, 8, 11, 2 and its electron configuration is [Ar] 3d3 4s2. The vanadium atom has a radius of 131.1.pm and its Van der Waals radius is 200.pm. In its elemental form, CAS 7440-62-2, vanadium has a blue-silver-grey appearance. High Purity (99.999%) Vanadium (V) Metal Vanadium is found in fossil fuel deposits and 65 different minerals. Vanadium is not found free in nature; however, once isolated it forms an oxide layer that stabilizes the free metal against further oxidation. Although Vanadium was first discovered by Andres Manuel del Rio in 1801, metallic vanadium was not isolated until 1867 when Henry Enfield Roscoe extracted it from vanadium chloride (VCl3). Vanadium was named after "Vanadis" the goddess of beauty in Scandinavian mythology.

Symbol: V
Atomic Number: 23
Atomic Weight: 50.9414
Element Category: transition metal
Group, Period, Block: 5, 4, d
Color: silvery gray metallic
Other Names: Vanadin, Vanadio, Vanádio
Melting Point: 1910 °C, 3470 °F, 2183 K
Boiling Point: 3407 °C, 6165 °F, 3680 K
Density: 6.1 g.cm-3 at 20 °C
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 5.5 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 6.1 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 6110 kg·m3
Specific Heat: 0.39 (kJ/kg K)
Superconductivity Temperature: 0.022 [or -273.128 °C (-459.63 °F)] (under pressure) K
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: N/A
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 17.6
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 459.7
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 510.95
Thermal Conductivity: 30.7 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: (25 °C) 8.4 µm·m-1·K-1
Electrical Resistivity: (20 °C) 197 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 24.89 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: 128 GPa
Shear Modulus: 47 GPa
Bulk Modulus: 160 GPa
Poisson Ratio: 0.37
Mohs Hardness: 6.7
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: N/A
Speed of Sound: (20 °C) 4560 m·s-1
Pauling Electronegativity: 1.63
Sanderson Electronegativity: 1.39
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 1.45
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: N/A
Allen Electronegativity: N/A
Pauling Electropositivity: 2.37
Reflectivity (%): 61
Refractive Index: N/A
Electrons: 23
Protons: 23
Neutrons: 28
Electron Configuration: [Ar] 3d3 4s2
Atomic Radius: 134 pm
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
2.07
Covalent Radius: 153±8 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.44
Van der Waals Radius: 200 pm
Oxidation States: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, -1 (amphoteric oxide)
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: body-centered cubic
Magnetic Ordering: paramagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 50.637
1st Ionization Energy: 650.92 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 1414.49 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 2828.10 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7440-62-2
EC Number: 231-171-1
MDL Number: MFCD00011453
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: [V]
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/V
InChI Key: LEONUFNNVUYDNQ-UHFFFAOYSA-N
PubChem CID: 23990
ChemSpider ID: 22426
Earth - Total: 82 ppm 
Mercury - Total: 63 ppm 
Venus - Total: 86 ppm 
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 1.5
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 0.18
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 190000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 75000
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 400
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 9
Stream, ppb by weight: 1
Stream, ppb by atoms: 0.02
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 62000
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 23000
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: 30
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: 4
Universe, ppb by weight: 1000
Universe, ppb by atom: 20
Discovered By: Andrés Manuel del Río
Discovery Date: 1801
First Isolation: Christian Wilhelm Blomstrand (1864)

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Vanadium

Several vanadium compounds are toxic to some creatures despite the fact that it is an essential trace element. Safety data for Vanadium and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to elemental (metallic) Vanadium.

Safety Data
Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS
Signal Word N/A
Hazard Statements N/A
Hazard Codes N/A
Risk Codes N/A
Safety Precautions N/A
RTECS Number YW1355000
Transport Information N/A
WGK Germany nwg
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
N/A

Vanadium Isotopes

Naturally occurring vanadium is composed of one stable isotopes 51V and one radioactive isotope 50V.

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
40V 40.01109(54)# N/A p to 40Ti 2-# N/A 287.09 -
41V 40.99978(22)# N/A p to 41Ti 7/2-# N/A 306.35 -
42V 41.99123(21)# <55 ns p to 42Ti 2-# N/A 321.88 -
43V 42.98065(25)# 80# ms β+  to 43Ti 7/2-# N/A 340.21 -
44V 43.97411(13) 111(7) ms β+ to 44Ti; α to 40Sc (2+) N/A 353.88 -
45V 44.965776(18) 547(6) ms β+  to 45Ti 7/2- N/A 370.34 -
46V 45.9602005(11) 422.50(11) ms β+  to 46Ti 0+ N/A 383.08 -
47V 46.9549089(9) 32.6(3) min EC to 47Ti 3/2- N/A 396.75 -
48V 47.9522537(27) 15.9735(25) d EC to 48Ti 4+ 2.01 406.69 -
49V 48.9485161(12) 329(3) d EC to 49Ti 7/2- 4.47 418.49 -
50V 49.9471585(11) 1.4 x 1017 y β+ to 50Ti; β- to 50Cr 6+ 3.34745 427.5 0.25
51V 50.9439595(11) STABLE - 7/2- 5.1514 439.31 99.75
52V 51.9447755(11) 3.743(5) min β- to 52Cr 3+ N/A 446.46 -
53V 52.944338(3) 1.60(4) min β- to 53Cr 7/2- N/A 454.54 -
54V 53.946440(16) 49.8(5) s β- to 54Cr 3+ N/A 460.75 -
55V 54.94723(11) 6.54(15) s β- to 55Cr (7/2-)# N/A 467.9 -
56V 55.95053(22) 216(4) ms β- to 56Cr; β- + n to 55Cr (1+) N/A 473.18 -
57V 56.95256(25) 0.35(1) s β- to 57Cr; β- + n to 56Cr (3/2-) N/A 479.4 -
58V 57.95683(27) 191(8) ms β- to 58Cr; β- + n to 57Cr 3+# N/A 483.75 -
59V 58.96021(33) 75(7) ms β- to 59Cr; β- + n to 58Cr 7/2-# N/A 488.1 -
60V 59.96503(51) 122(18) ms β- to 60Cr; β- + n to 59Cr 3+# N/A 491.52 -
61V 60.96848(43)# 47.0(12) ms β- to 61Cr 7/2-# N/A 496.81 -
62V 61.97378(54)# 33.5(20) ms β- to 62Cr 3+# N/A 500.23 -
63V 62.97755(64)# 17(3) ms β- to 63Cr (7/2-)# N/A 504.58 -
64V 63.98347(75)# 10# ms [>300 ns] Unknown N/A N/A 507.07 -
65V 64.98792(86)# 10# ms Unknown 5/2-# N/A 511.42 -
Vanadium (V) Elemental Symbol

Recent Research & Development for Vanadium

  • Irvin Noel Booysen, Thulani Hlela, Matthew Piers Akerman, Bheki Xulu, Mono- and polynuclear vanadium(IV) and -(V) compounds with 2-substituted phenyl/pyridyl heterocyclic chelates, Polyhedron, Volume 85, 8 January 2015
  • Jaeheon Choe, Ki Hyun Kim, Dai Gil Lee, Corrugated carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plate for vanadium redox flow batteries, Composite Structures, Volume 119, January 2015
  • Xiaolong Chen, Xueqiang Cao, Binglin Zou, Jun Gong, Chao Sun, High-temperature corrosion behaviour of plasma sprayed lanthanum magnesium hexaluminate coating by vanadium oxide, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2015
  • Liang Chen, Xin Gu, Xiaolei Jiang, Nana Wang, Jie Yue, Huayun Xu, Jian Yang, Yitai Qian, Hierarchical vanadium pentoxide microflowers with excellent long-term cyclability at high rates for lithium ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014
  • Xiangguo Teng, Jicui Dai, Fangyuan Bi, Geping Yin, Ultra-thin polytetrafluoroethene/Nafion/silica composite membrane with high performance for vanadium redox flow battery, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014
  • Zhaohua Li, Le Liu, Lihong Yu, Lei Wang, Jingyu Xi, Xinping Qiu, Liquan Chen, Characterization of sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) composite membrane for vanadium redox flow battery application, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014
  • Lulu Si, Zhengqiu Yuan, Lei Hu, Yongchun Zhu, Yitai Qian, Uniform and continuous carbon coated sodium vanadium phosphate cathode materials for sodium-ion battery, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014
  • F.T. Wandschneider, D. Finke, S. Grosjean, P. Fischer, K. Pinkwart, J. Tübke, H. Nirschl, Model of a vanadium redox flow battery with an anion exchange membrane and a Larminie-correction, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 272, 25 December 2014
  • Irene Osada, Jan von Zamory, Elie Paillard, Stefano Passerini, Improved lithium-metal/vanadium pentoxide polymer battery incorporating crosslinked ternary polymer electrolyte with N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(perfluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 271, 20 December 2014
  • Jiawei Sun, Xianfeng Li, Xiaoli Xi, Qinzhi Lai, Tao Liu, Huamin Zhang, The transfer behavior of different ions across anion and cation exchange membranes under vanadium flow battery medium, Journal of Power Sources, Volume 271, 20 December 2014