Assessing the Role of Vanadium Technologies in Decarbonizing Hard-to-abate Sectors and Enabling the Energy Transition
The decarbonization of heavy industry and the emergence of renewable energy technologies are inextricably linked to access to mineral resources. As such, there is an urgent need to develop benchmarked assessments of the role of critical elements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we explore the role of vanadium in decarbonizing construction by serving as a microalloying element and enabling the energy transition as the primary component of flow batteries used for grid-level storage. We estimate that vanadium has enabled an avoided environmental burden totaling 185 million metric tons of CO2 on an annual basis. A granular analysis estimates savings for China and the European Union at 1.15% and 0.18% of their respective emissions, respectively. Our results highlight the role of critical metals in developing low-carbon infrastructure while underscoring the need for holistic assessments to inform policy interventions that mitigate supply chain risks.
David A. Santos (1,2), Manish K. Dixit (3), Pranav Pradeep Kumar (3,4) and Sarbajit Banerjee (1,2)
(1) Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3255, USA
(2) Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3255, USA
(3) Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3255, USA
(4) Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3255, USA
iScience. 2021 Oct 13:103277.