Vanadium is a metal that was discovered in the early 19th century (see the post who discovered vanadium). Here are some of the more common uses of vanadium in the world today!
Uses of Vanadium
- Small amounts of vanadium are added to steel to make it stronger. Surgical instruments, tools, axles, bicycle frames, crankshafts, gears and jet engines are made from this strong steel.
- Vanadium pentoxide is used as a catalyst to make sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is one of the most important chemicals for industry. Vanadium pentoxide is also used to make maleic anhydride and some ceramics.
- In the future, a compound of vanadium may be used in lithium batteries as an anode. It could also be used in rechargeable batteries.
- Vanadate, another compound of vanadium, protects steel from rust and corrosion.
- Vanadium dioxide is used to make glass coatings which block infrared radiation.
- Fake jewelery can be made out of vanadium oxide.
- The inner structure of a nuclear fusion reactor can be used to capture neutrons making the nuclear reaction much safer.
- Superconducting magnets can be made out of vanadium.
- Some bacteria and other organisms use a vanadium compound to fix nitrogen.