Currently, vanadium demand is predominantly driven by the steel industry as vanadium is vital in the manufacturing of alloyed steel and reinforcing steel or rebar. Recent changes in China has increased the rebar strength required of steel to Grade 3 and therefore is having a dramatic effect for the need of vanadium. These regulatory requirements and changes are expected to continue globally.
Aircraft manufacturers are now using large amounts of titanium-vanadium alloy in aircrafts that include Boeings 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus 380 due to its light weight and super-strong characteristics. Each of these aircrafts require and contain more than 100 tonnes of the alloy, which is more than double the amount that has be used in previous older aircraft models.
Currently this represents only 7% of the vanadium market and is subject to grow correspondingly as air traffic does.
Fuel efficiency and more broadly emissions generated from the automotive have been under the spotlight, high strength, low weight steels will continue to drive demand for vanadium.
In addition, lithium/vanadium phosphate batteries are on the increase due to the hybrid and electric cars that are becoming more and more affordable and wide use in society. These batteries compromise of a key component within these hybrid and electric cars.
Renewable Energy Storage
A very promising sign for the increased need and supply of vanadium is through the renewable energy storage market. Vanadium redox flow batteries allow for renewable energy grid storage which solves an important issue in relation to the storage of energy. Although it currently only makes up for 2% of vanadium consumption, it is forecasted to grow at a rapid rate. The current growth rate in 2018 is expected to be around 34%.
This is all supported and promoted heavily through Governments across the globe who see the importance of renewable energy for the future of energy storage.