Ferro-Alloy Resources Limited (LON:FAR), the vanadium producer and developer of the large Balasausqandiq vanadium deposit in Southern Kazakhstan, is pleased to announce it has received a Kazakhstan patent for the efficient technology which it has developed to produce electrolyte for vanadium flow batteries directly from ammonium metavanadate (‘AMV’), a precursor form of vanadium from which vanadium pentoxide is usually made.
The Company has also signed an agreement with Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, an institute in Germany that is well-known for its research work on VFBs and electrolyte technology, for testing of the Company’s electrolyte for battery purposes. Samples have been shipped and work is expected to commence on 15 September 2021.
By way of background , VFBs provide a means of storing energy and discharging over longer periods than are economic for lithium-ion battery technology. VFB s advantages compared with lithium-ion and similar technologies include:
· Energy (kWh) can be scaled independently of power (kw), meaning that economies of scale can be achieved by simply increasing the amount of electrolyte rather than by adding more cells to the battery, thus reducing the cost of storage per kWh;
· VFBs can be fully charged and discharged repeatedly without damage;
· VFBs do not catch fire;
· VFBs do not deteriorate in use after many cycles; and
· At the end of the battery life, all the components can be easily recycled, including the vanadium electrolyte.
For these reasons, VFBs are the front-running technology for large-scale storage of energy produced from solar and wind which typically require storage and discharge over many hours. This market is expected to grow rapidly as the world moves to decarbonise power generation.
The Company’s process of producing electrolyte for VFBs directly from AMV requires relatively simple equipment, is safer, and improves the quality of electrolyte produced compared with other processes. The ability to make electrolyte gives the Company not only the required know-how to enter this market but also a cost advantage over traditional processes.
Nick Bridgen, Ferro-Alloy Resources CEO, commented : “Receiving the electrolyte technology patent is another endorsement of the FAR technical team’s capabilities.
“FAR expects to become the world’s lowest cost producer of vanadium and this technology positions the Company to become a dominant supplier of VFB electrolyte at prices which other producers will find impossible to achieve.”