Vanadium

Properties

Vanadium (chemical symbol: V) is a soft, grey, ductile and tensile metal which is proving to be one of the most precious commodities in the world.  It has been used to strengthen and harden alloys such as steel and titanium, in petrochemical, catalyst, pollution control and ceramic applications and is increasingly being used in the advancement of battery technology.

Applications

vanadium_1Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications.  Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

Batteries

Vanadium redox batteries (VRB’s) are currently being developed and commercially deployed in industrial and grid storage applications.  Lithium vanadium phosphate battery systems are used in the automotive industry.

Batteries made with vanadium:

                    • can meet the power demands of everything from a single home (kilowatt hour capacity) to a power grid (megawatt hour capacity);
                    • have a lifespan of 20 years of more (tens of thousands of cycles);
                    • can charge and discharge simultaneously;
                    • do not produce profuse amounts of ambient heat while charging; and
                    • can release massive amounts of electricity instantly – and repeatedly. *1

Although energy storage applications accounted for around 1% of vanadium consumed in 2012, these applications are expected to add significantly to demand for vanadium in the coming years.

Steel

The predominant use of vanadium is as a strengthening and hardening additive in steel and some forms of iron.  Only small amounts of vanadium are required to be added to steel to significantly enhance its hardness and strength (no more than 0.25% by weight to high-carbon steel or less than 5% by weight to steel intended for use in high-speed tools).  High strength low alloy (HSLA) steels typically contain less than 0.5% V.

TTP estimates that approximately 60% of global steel produced is C-Mn steel, about 20% HSLA steels and 20% high alloy steels. As a result, the market share of HLSA steel to total steel is expected to grow in the coming years due to the strong efficiency and economic drivers which result from the replacement of C-Mn steel and HSLA Steels.

The steel industry currently accounts for 92% of vanadium demand. *2 But with both China and Japan having mandated stronger rebar in construction, demand for vanadium in HSLA steels is expected to continue to increase.

Titanium alloys

Vanadium is also used in the production of titanium alloys for use in the aerospace industry and other applications where there are no other metallic substitutes.  Vanadium has the ability to allow titanium to perform better and at high temperatures.

Titanium alloys accounted for approximately 4% of vanadium demand in 2012 and according to international metals consultancy firm TTP, titanium alloy production is in a strong growth phase, with this application expected to make a contribution to growth in vanadium demand in the next 5 years. *3

Market Outlook

Global steel production was reported as 1,490,060 MT in 2011 *5 and TTP estimates global steel production to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% between 2011 and 2017.

vanadium_2Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications.  Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

Based on projected changes in global steel production levels and projected changes in global specific vanadium consumption rates within the steel industry, TTP’s forecasts growth in vanadium demand at 9.2% CAGR between 2011 and 2017.

vanadium_3

Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications.  Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

Vanadium Supply and Demand

Total world vanadium consumption reached a record high of 78,000 tonnes in 2012. China is the main producer of vanadium currency accounting for 58% of the world supply with South Africa the second largest at 15%.

In 2006 China accounted for about 20% of world vanadium demand, rising to 34% by 2012. This was mainly driven by increased steel production in China over that period.

Although China is a main world producer of Vanadium, it’s new government regulations on rebar quality standards are expected to heavily impact the vanadium market. The new construction design codes implemented in China are phasing out Grade 2 (reinforcing bars) which have no vanadium, in favour of Grade 3 rebar which require about 0.35kg vanadium per tonne of steel. An upgrade  of rebar from Grade 2 to Grade 3 would require an additional 30,000 tonnes of vanadium per year.

vanadium_5Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications.  Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

Another potential large driver of vanadium demand is VRBs for grid storage application.  According to Lux Research, VRBs is forecast to account for 34% of the global large-scale storage battery market by 2017 which equates to US$38 billion in revenues.

TTP estimates that vanadium supply will grow by 8.7% and demand by 9.2% CAGR between 2011 and 2017[1].

vanadium_6Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications.  Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

TTP anticipates that market conditions will tighten between 2013 and 2017 as consumption of vanadium runs slightly ahead of production and given relatively low current global inventory levels.  TPP estimates that vanadium demand will rise to about 120,000 tonnes by 2017.


Titanium

PROPERTIES

Titanium (chemical symbol Ti) is a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density and high strength. It is high resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine. The element occurs within a number of mineral deposits, principally rutile and ilmenite, which are widely distributed in the Earth’s crust and lithosphere, and it is found in almost all living things, rocks, water bodies, and soils.

The most useful properties of titanium are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element. In its unalloyed condition, titanium is as strong as some steels, but less dense.
APPLICATIONS

Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium vanadium, and molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong, lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), industrial process (chemicals and petro-chemicals, desalination plants, pulp, and paper), automotive, agri-food, medical prostheses, orthopedic implants, dental and endodontic instruments and files, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other applications.

 

Pigments, Additives and Coatings

About 95% of all titanium ore is destined for refinement into titanium dioxide (TiO2), an intensely white permanent pigment used in paints, paper, toothpaste, and plastics. It is also used in cement,in gemstones, as an optical opacifier in paper, and a strengthening agent in graphite, composite fishing rods and golf clubs.

TiO2 powder is chemically inert, resists fading in sunlight, and is very opaque: it imparts a pure and brilliant white color to the brown or gray chemicals that form the majority of household plastics. Paint made with titanium dioxide does well in severe temperatures and marine environments. Pure titanium dioxide has a very high index of refraction and an optical dispersion higher than diamond. In addition to being a very important pigment, titanium dioxide is also used in sunscreens.

Aerospace and Marine

Because of its high tensile strength to density ratio, high corrosion resistance, fatigue resistance, high crack resistance, and ability to withstand moderately high temperatures without creeping, titanium alloys are used in aircraft, armor plating, naval ships, spacecraft, and missiles. For these applications, titanium is alloyed with aluminium, zirconium, nickel, vanadium, and other elements to manufacture a variety of components. In fact, about two third of all titanium metal produced is used in aircraft engines and frames.

Because it is highly resistant to corrosion by sea water, titanium is used to make propeller shafts, rigging, and heat exchangers in desalination plants.

Industrial and Consumer

Welded titanium pipe and process equipment (heat exchangers, tanks, process vessels) are used in chemical and petrochemical industries primarily for corrosion resistance.
MARKET OUTLOOK

The major global producers of TiO2 pigments are Chemours (demerged from DuPont), Cristal, Huntsman, Tronox, Kronos and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha. The capacities of these companies are shown in the following figure, which also shows the geographic distribution which shows the strong Chinese position, in terms of total production volume.


TITANIUM SUPPLY AND DEMAND

Titanium dioxide is one of the best white pigments on the market in terms of performance. Over the past decade, the global titanium dioxide market has been growing steadily, with an AAGR of about 5.0%. In 2015, the global titanium dioxide market size hit EUR10.17 billion, up 3.7% year on year. In 2016 – 2020, the global market size is expected to present a CAGR of around 4.5% and reach nearly EUR13 billion in 2020 .

Iron

Properties

Iron is a chemical element with symbol Fe.  It is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth’s outer and inner core.  It is the fourth most common element in the Earth’s crust.  Elemental iron is reactive to oxygen and water.  Fresh iron surfaces appear lustrous silvery-gray, but oxidise in normal air to give hydrated iron oxides, commonly known as rust.  Iron oxides occupy more volume than the metal and thus flake off, exposing fresh surfaces for corrosion.

Pure iron is relatively soft, but it is significantly hardened and strengthened by impurities, in particular carbon, from the smelting process.  A certain proportion of carbon (between 0.002% and 2.1%) produces steel, which may be up to 1000 times harder than pure iron.  Steels and iron alloys formed with other metals are by far the most common industrial metals because they have a great range of desirable properties and iron-bearing rock is abundant.

Applications

Iron is the most widely used of all the metals, accounting for over 90% of worldwide metal production.  Its low cost and high strength make it indispensable in engineering applications such as construction of machinery and machine tools, automobiles, the hulls of large ships, and structural components for buildings.  Since pure iron is quiet soft, it is most commonly combined with alloying elements to make steel.

Commercially available iron is classified based on purity and the abundance of additives.  Carbon steel contains 2.0% carbon or less, with small amounts of manganese, sulfur, phosphorus, and cilicon.  Alloy steels contain varying amounts of carbon as well as other metals, such as chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, nickel, tungsten, etc.  Their alloy content raises their cost, and so they are usually only employed for specialist uses.  One common alloy steel, though, is stainless steel.

Recent development in ferrous metallurgy have produced a growing range of microalloyed steels, also termed “HSLA” or high-strength low alloy steels, containing tiny additions to produce high strengths and often spectacular toughness at minimal cost.

market outlook

In April 2016, The World Steel Association (worldsteel) has released its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2016 and 2017.  Worldsteel forecasts that global steel demand will decrease by -0.8% to 1,488Mt in 2016 following a contraction of -3.0% in 2015.  In 2017, it is forecast that world steel demand will return to growth of 0.4% and will reach 1,494Mt.[1]

Steel demand in some emerging economies continues to perform below expectation.  But India’s prospects are brightening due to low oil prices, the reform momentum and policies to increase infrastructure and manufacturing output.  India’s steel demand will increase by 5.4% in both 2016 and 2017 reaching 88.3Mt in 2017.

In Turkey, steel demand is expected to grow by 3.3% in 2016 and 3.2% in 2017, supported by the government’s focus on pro-growth economic policies and low oil prices.

Steel demand in the ASEAN 5 (Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam Indonesia, Philippines) is also expected to maintain a growth rate of around 6% despite their exposure to China due to their infrastructure building activities and will reach 74.6Mt in 2017.

Steel demand in the emerging and developing economies excluding China is forecast to grow by 1.8% and 4.8% in 2016 and 2017 respectively.  Steel demand in these economies will amount to 457.1Mt in 2017, accounting for about 30% of world steel demand.

While developed economies are also feeling the effect of the worsening global economic environment, they are expected to maintain a stable recovery momentum.  Steel demand in the developed economies will grow by 1.7% in 2016 and 1.1% in 2017.

特征

 

钒(化学符号:V)是一种柔软灰色的,带韧性可拉伸的金属,且被证明是世界上最稀有的金属之一。它已被广泛用于改进和强化钢,钛等合金以及石油化工,催化剂,污染控制,陶瓷等领域,并越来越多的被用于改进电池技术。

 

应用

 

vanadium_1Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

电池

 

钒氧化还原电池(VRB)已被开发并逐步应用于工业和电网储电。磷酸钒锂电池系统在汽车制造业已被广泛应用。

钒电池具有以下优点:

  • 能满足各种电力需求,小至一个家庭(千瓦小时容量),大至一个电网(兆瓦小时容量);
  • 使用寿命20年以上(数万个使用周期);
  • 可同时充电放电;
  • 充电时不会过度发热;
  • 可以在瞬间反复释放大量电能。

尽管2012年钒在储电方面的应用只占了整个钒需求的1%左右,在未来几年内这一方面的应用应该会较大的刺激市场对钒的需求。

 

 

钒最普遍的应用是作为强化和硬化钢铁的添加剂。只需添加很少量的钒就能显著的提高钢的强度和硬度(高碳钢只需不到0.25%的重量,普通用钢只需不到5%的重量)。

 

钢铁行业目前占了整个钒需求的92%。但随着中国和日本规定建筑业需使用更高强度的螺纹钢,高强度低合金钢对钒的需求将持续增长。

 

钛合金

 

钒还被应用于生产宇航业所需的钛合金,或其他无任何金属替代品的行业。钒能够使钛在更高的温度中产生更好的效果。

 

2012年钛合金占了整个钒需求的大概4%。根据国际金属咨询公司TTP公布的数据,钛合金的生产目前处于高速发展阶段,并将在未来5年内带动对钒的需求。

 

市场前景

 

2012年全球钒需求量预计约为81,000公吨。国际金属咨询公司TTP认为全球钒需求量主要受两个因素的影响:全球钢产量和钢铁行业内对钒的特定消耗率。

 

2011年报告的全球钢产量为1,490,060公吨,而TTP估计全球钢产量在2011到2017年将以平均每年3.9%的速度增长。

 

vanadium_2Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

根据预期的全球钢产量及钢铁行业内钒的特定消耗率的变化,TTP预测2011至2017年全球钒需求将以平均每年9.2%的速度增长。

 

vanadium_3

 

Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

特定钒消耗

 

TTP认为由传统的低强度碳锰钢向高强度低合金钢的转型将导致特定钒消耗率的增长。作为一种更有效的钢铁强化剂,只需0.05%的钒就能使钢的强度增加50%到100%,从而为供应链中的所有环节都带来经济效益。

 

TTP估算全球生产的钢中60%为碳锰钢,约20%为高强度低合金钢,剩余20%为特殊高合金钢。由于高强度低合金钢的效率和经济效益以及其他因素驱动着高强度低合金钢取代碳锰钢,高强度低合金钢在全球钢产量中的比重在未来几年内将持续增长。

 

TTP预测2011年至2017年特定钒消耗率将以平均每年5.1%的速度增长。

 

vanadium_4Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

Vanadium supply and demand

 

据TTP估算,2012年全球钒产量将达70,000公吨。目前中国生产的钒约占世界总产量的50%,南非,俄国,欧洲及美国也是钒的主要产地。

 

vanadium_5Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

TTP预测2011年至2017年钒的供应和需求将分别以平均每年8.7%和9.2%的速度增长。

 

vanadium_6Data source: Vanadium Market Fundamentals and Implications. Terry Perles/ TTP Squared, Inc., Nov. 13, 2012

 

TTP预期2013年至2017年间,因钒的需求会稍微超过供应而且目前全球钒的库存量较低,钒市场在这几年会相对紧俏。