After Kashmir’s lithium, Gujarat's coast reveals vanadium, a vital metal for batteries

After Kashmir’s lithium, Gujarat’s coast reveals vanadium, a vital metal for batteries

Sediment samples taken from the Gulf of Khambhat, which opens into the Arabian Sea at Alang in Gujarat, contained vanadium, an essential raw element for numerous industrial applications. This discovery is noteworthy because India lacks the war material, which is used to fortify steel and create batteries.

India’s lithium What are the implications of the lithium reserves in J&K?

Notably, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) discovered 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir just a few months ago. Ministers and car industry players alike praised this discovery as a major development and celebrated it. These reserves were hailed as a significant motivator for India’s advancement toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions and fostering electric transportation.

The prospective new source of vanadium was initially identified by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), which studied the sediments. According to B Gopakumar, a researcher from the Marine and Coastal Survey Division (MCSD) of GSI, Mangalore, in an article that appeared in the magazine “Nature,” “It is the first record of vanadium occurrence in the offshore sediments of India.”

Vanadium is a costly metal to produce because it can be found in over 55 distinct minerals but is rarely found in its pure form in nature. It has been discovered in the Gulf of Khambhat in a mineral called titanomagnetite, which is created when molten lava rapidly cools.

The vanadiferous titanomagnetite deposits in the Gulf of Khambhat, according to GSI scientists, may have been drained from the Deccan basalts primarily through the Narmada and Tapi rivers. 69 samples were taken by the scientists from the Gulf of Khambhat sediments.

Vanadium is a vital raw element for important industries including aerospace and defense. For instance, high-speed airframes and parts for jet engines both use titanium and aluminum alloys that contain vanadium.

In addition to these uses, the metal is also employed to create essential electronic components and store energy. It is used to create alloys that are heat-, corrosion-, and wear-resistant. Vanadium redox flow batteries, which hold promise for extensive energy storage, are also made with it.

Up until now, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, and Maharashtra have all discovered traces of the metal.

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