CSIRO and Tivan partner on vanadium processing tech

Fine magnetite (a form of magnetic iron with 72% iron content) attached here to a magnet (vanadium)
Fine magnetite (a form of magnetic iron with 72% iron content) attached here to a magnet, is produced using the CSIRO-developed IP that comprises part of the Tivan+ process. Magnetite has a higher iron content than haematite Australia’s predominant iron ore export material and thus is a potential valuable by-product

CSIRO has partnered with critical minerals company Tivan to further develop a novel vanadium processing technology (TIVAN+).

Vanadium is a critical mineral and demand is forecast to grow significantly as it is increasingly being used for renewable energy storage systems, like redox flow batteries.

Related article: Australia’s first commercial-scale vanadium battery facility

At present 65% of global economic vanadium resources reside in China and Russia, which generate 85% of the world’s vanadium production.

The partnership presents an opportunity for Australia, which hosts 18% of global vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) resources, to establish a domestic industry for vanadium production.

CSIRO’s novel vanadium processing technology can deliver three products, vanadium, titanium and iron, from vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) ore.

The patented CSIRO process operates at atmospheric pressure and temperature and produces less ore-based waste, which no other existing commercial process can achieve.

It also recovers high purity (>99.5%) vanadium as V2O5, which will help facilitate a downstream vanadium industry in Australia.

CSIRO CEO Dr Doug Hilton said this important partnership will see the development and commercialisation of cutting-edge, CSIRO-patented technology increasingly used in the production of renewable energy storage systems.

“The technology is a vital piece in the puzzle in Australia’s renewable energy future and it will deliver long term community benefit, boosting the economy and supporting more jobs and opportunities for Australians,” Dr Hilton said.

“This is important, innovative, inventive work, creating new sovereign capability that harnesses the critical technologies Australian needs to transition to net zero.”

Related article: Horizon Power purchases vanadium flow battery

Tivan executive chairman Grant Wilson said the partnership was an opportunity to meaningfully advance the energy transition through sovereign capabilities.

“Our partnership with CSIRO exemplifies how research and industry can work together in mission-driven science that addresses Australia’s greatest challenges,” Wilson said.

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