Various Uses of Vanadium and its Compounds in Industries

NH4VO3Vanadium is a light silver colored metal which is known for its hardness. It’s the seventeenth metal occurring in the earth’s crust. However, it’s considered to be a rare element as it’s present in dispersed form and therefore its mining is very expensive. Moreover, it is not found in its pure state, but in the form of compounds.

However, vanadium compounds are used on a large scale in industries. These are classified into:

  • Vanadates
  • Oxides
  • Sulphates
  • Pentoxides

These can be found in various states, like powder, liquids and hydrous cakes. Vanadium salts (sodium metavanadate, potassium metavanadate, ammonium metavanadate and ammonium polyvanadate) and their solutions show highly selective catalytic properties.


Vanadates include ammonium metavanadate NH4VO3, sodium metavanadate NaVO3 and potassium mentavanadate KVO3 and are used in various fields. For example, ammonium metavanadate is a synthetic catalyst used as a corrosion inhibitor, in denitrification and for organic acids and as a pigment. Sodium metavanadate is used as a catalyst in desulfurization, a corrosion inhibitor and a pigment.

Depending on the application, the market of vanadium compounds can be classified into these sectors:

  • Pigments
  • Glaze
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical catalysts

Other Vanadium Compounds

Vanadium compounds are made use of as catalysts for the oxidation of sulphur dioxide. E.g. vanadium pentoxide is a great catalyst made use of in the contact process for the sulphuric acid production, a very important process in the chemical industry.

These compounds are also used in paints, ceramic and pigments industries. Sodium and ammonium metavanadate are responsible for the color of ceramic tiles as well as containers.

However, industrial catalytic sector is the main driver of vanadium compound market. E.g. in the sulfuric acid production these compounds are used in the contact process. The ceramic and paint industries also use sodium vanadate and metavanadate. Vanadium oxide used in glass coatings, whereas vanadates provide protection to steel against rust and corrosion.

Therapeutic Uses

Vanadium compounds are attested to display insulin-enhancing properties when taken orally. However, vanadium absorption is poor in the body and depends on its solubility and chemical nature.

Other Industrial Uses

Vanadium oxide drugged with tungsten has been tested for use as a “spectrally-selective” window coating for blocking infrared transmission and lessen the harm of creating heat through windows.

Vanadium pentoxide is a catalyst used for the production of sulphuric acid, in batteries and as a pigment.

Vanadium compound market is spread over Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia Pacific. The Asia Pacific market is the most dominant with the demand on rise because of the burgeoning chemical industry, followed by Europe and North America.

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