Vanadium, atomic number 23, atomic weight 50.9415, is named from the beautiful Sweden goddess Vanadies, which is for the vanadium compound presents beautiful colors in solution. In 1801, Spanish mineralogist Rio first discovered in vanadinite, but he thought that was chromium which had been found; in 1830, Swedish chemist Sef-strom found it again when smelting chromite near Taberg and then he named it; in 1927, American chemist Richie and Madden obtained 99.7% purity vanadium. Vanadium content in the crust is 0.02%~0.03%, ranking the 22nd. It is widely distributed in many minerals, mainly are green sulfur vanadium, vanadium mica, etc., also been found in stellar. There are two stable isotopes of vanadium in nature: V 50 and V 51 wherein the content is 99.76%.
Vanadium metal has light gray luster, malleable, melting point 1890 °C, boiling point 3380 °C, the density 5.96 g/cm 3; metal vanadium is body-centered cubic lattice and it can form alloys with a variety of metals. Vanadium metal has strong corrosion resistance at room temperature; easily soluble in concentrated sulfuric acid, concentrated nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid; being able to combine directly with a variety of non-metals under high temperature; the aqueous solution of vanadium is complex. Metal vanadium is mainly used in the manufacture of alloy steel; vanadium pentoxide and vanadium salts are widely used as a catalyst; also used in the manufacture of stained glass and ceramics, as well as paint and ink driers, vanadium is widely used in metallurgy, aerospace, chemical and other industrial sectors, in the forms of vanadium iron (and other vanadium alloy), vanadium compounds and vanadium metal powder.
Ferrovanadium is an important alloy additive in iron and steel industry. Vanadium can improve the strength, toughness, ductility and heat resistance of steel. Since 1960s, the application of vanadium in China steel industry has sharply surged that by 1988 it accounted for 85% of vanadium consumption. The ratio of vanadium consumption in steel industry is 20% for carbon steel, 25% for high-strength low-alloy steel, 20% for alloy steel, and 15% for tool steel. With its strength, vanadium-containing high-strength low -alloy steel (HSLA) is widely used for oil /gas pipelines, buildings, bridges, rails, pressure vessels, and car frame construction, etc. Currently the scope of various applications of vanadium steel is spreading more and more widely.
Vanadium alloys are mainly utilized in the production of colored vanadium alloy, such as Ti-6Al-4V, Ti-6Al-6V-2Sn and Ti-8Al-1V-Mo and so on. Ti-6Al-4V alloy is used for the manufacture of excellent high temperature structural materials of aircraft and rocket, highly valued in the United States, accounting for more than half of the production of vanadium titanium-based alloys. Metal vanadium can be used for magnetic materials, iron casting, cemented carbide, superconducting materials and nuclear reactor materials, etc.
Vanadium pentoxide and vanadium compounds are mainly used as colorant for glass and ceramics catalyst industry, catalyst for sulfuric acid and petrochemical production. In the U.S., 35% of the vanadium pentoxide is used in the production of sulfuric acid, 35% for the oil refining. Vanadium catalyst has a special activity, which is hard to be replaced by the other elements. With the rapid development of the chemical industry, the importance of vanadium catalyst will become more apparent.
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