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Iranian experts develop solution to produce ferrovanadium

Iranian experts can now produce ferrovanadium using vanadium oxide extracted from steel slag.

Experts at a research institute associated with Iran’s state mining and metals company IMIDRO have developed a home-grown solution to produce ferrovanadium, an alloy that can harden steel and improve its anti-corrosive qualities.

A Monday report by the IRIB News said that experts at Iran Mineral Processing Research Center (IMPRC) had managed to produce vanadium oxide with high degree of purity from slag which is a by-product of steel manufacturing.

The report said the vanadium oxide can be used to produce ferrovanadium alloy, a hardener that is used to manufacture high-strength, anti-corrosion steel.

Iran is currently the seventh largest steel supplier in the world but it lacks the technology to produce vanadium from slag despite the fact that slag accounts for 20% of the weight of the total steel production in the country.

That comes as more than 67% of the global supply of vanadium comes from steel slag.

Facing US sanctions that restrict its access to foreign technology and investment, Iran has increasingly relied on domestic resources to expand its manufacturing sector.  

The IMPRC said its home-grown solution to produce vanadium oxide from slag would significantly boost Iranian steel industry’s environmental records and will enable the country to cut imports of high-strength steel.

It said the Mobarakeh Steel Company, which is the largest steel producer in Iran, had supplied slag samples and technical services to the project to produce vanadium oxide from slag.   

The research center said it was now carrying out feasibility studies for semi-industrial production of ferrovanadium alloy in Iran.

The IMPRC is located in Kavosh industrial park, located some 60 kilometers to the northwest of Tehran.

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