US Vanadium Announces $2.1 M Production Capacity Expansion

American chemicals producer US Vanadium has announced a $2.1 million expansion of its production capacity for ultra-high-purity electrolyte used by grid-level vanadium flow batteries (VRFB). The production expansion comes on the heels of a purchase agreement for 580,000 litres of ultra-high-purity electrolyte by Austrian VRFB manufacturer and energy storage provider Enerox GmbH, which sells its systems under its brand name CellCube.

The CellCube contract is believed to be one of the largest such procurements of ultra-high-purity electrolyte known to have been secured by a VRFB electrolyte producer outside China. USV plans to produce the electrolyte at its flagship Hot Springs, AR facility.

The electrolyte will enable operation of an eight megawatt-hour VRFB system to be installed at an industrial manufacturing site nearby Chicago in Illinois, as part of a resilient microgrid system featuring roof top solar, flywheel, and the CellCube long-duration flow battery. The system will operate at up to 150 percent of its nominal load and, as such, can provide the facility a flexible range of power, from 1MW for 10 hours to as much as three megawatts for nearly two hours.

US Vanadium’s expansion of its electrolyte production capacity at its Hot Springs, AR facility, to be completed in a development partnership with CellCube, is designed to enable the company to produce more than 2.25 million liters per year of ultra-high-purity VRFB electrolyte for CellCube and other customers. Ultra-high-purity electrolyte helps to increase the performance and efficiency of VRFB battery systems. US Vanadium’s electrolyte is the highest purity electrolyte produced anywhere in the world today, claims the company.

US Vanadium can also recycle spent electrolyte from VRFB systems at a 97% vanadium recovery rate. “US Vanadium looks forward to supplying CellCube with our high-quality VRFB electrolyte and to launching our expansion of electrolyte production capacity in Arkansas in partnership with CellCube,” said US Vanadium CEO Mark A. Smith.

“This expansion allows US Vanadium to enter the next phase of our growth plan, which focuses on supplying the world’s finest and highest purity VRFB electrolyte to multiple customers around the world,” he added.

VRFB batteries are rechargeable batteries that take advantage of the fact that vanadium ions in different oxidation states can efficiently store chemical potential energy. VRFBs allow for an almost unlimited energy capacity, can be discharged to very high percentages without damage, have very long cycle lives (at least 15,000-20,000 charge/discharge cycles), and can remain unused for long periods without permanent effects to the system.

Because of their nearly unlimited energy storage capacity, high efficiency, zero emissions, very long cycle lives, and relatively low cost of available electricity on a lifecycle basis, VRFB energy storage systems are enabling consumers to utilize renewable energy systems for 100% of their actual power needs without having to rely on renewable energy credits and other accounting offsets.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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