QEM extracts 99.93% pure vanadium pentoxide from industrial waste

QEM has extracted high purity vanadium pentoxide from industrial waste.
QEM has extracted high purity vanadium pentoxide from industrial waste.

Critical minerals explorer and developer QEM (ASX: QEM) has extracted 99.93% pure vanadium pentoxide from Queensland industrial waste.

These results complete the study carried out on QEM’s behalf by The University of Queensland Hydrometallurgy Research Laboratories (UQ), part of the School of Chemical Engineering.

The results set the groundwork to begin optimisation and pilot-scale work.

QEM supplied The University of Queensland with vanadium-bearing spent catalyst from Incitec Pivot’s Mount Isa sulphuric acid plant. Work determined that an acid lead followed by solvent extraction, crystallisation and calcining is a technically viable method of recycling spent catalyst to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide.

Vanadium electrolyte is one of the critical components of vanadium flow batteries for long-duration energy storage, complementing renewable electricity generation. The purity of the electrolyte has an impact on the electrochemical performance and life of the battery.

High-purity vanadium is key to increasing the performance, capacity and efficiency of the battery.

QEM managing director Gavin Loyden commented on the findings.

“UQ has been an optimal partner for QEM to build out our knowledge and experience in optimising vanadium beneficiation to further improve vanadium pentoxide yields for our flagship Julia Creek project,” he said.

“This Queensland-based circular economy project with UQ strengthens our ESG credentials to seek innovative ways of fulfilling our environmental and social responsibilities as a junior explorer.

“QEM remains committed to its goal of supplying vanadium pentoxide from our primary vanadium resource at Julia Creek.”