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X GROUP Technologies Demonstrates New Vanadyl Sulphate Flowsheet

X GROUP Technologies (XGT) has successfully demonstrated its latest ion exchange innovation for producing high-purity vanadium solutions and precipitates for the preparation of vanadium flow battery (VFB) electrolyte.


The most important differentiator of this innovative process is the vanadyl sulphate (V4+) eluate that is produced off of ion exchange resin, as a high-purity solution of V concentrations well above the 1.8M tenors specified for VFB electrolyte. To further clarify, this exciting outcome is achieved without the ammonium precipitation and roasting required to produce the vanadium oxides needed for electrolyte preparation. The XGT flowsheet eliminates several costly process steps, which offers a compelling cost advantage over conventional methods of producing vanadium electrolyte.


Important chemistries of the XGT electrolyte flowsheet were successfully piloted earlier in 2023, at bench scales. View here: https://www.xgrouptechnologies.com/post/major-vrfb-electrolyte-advance-at-x-group-technologies


Vanadyl sulphate bench pilot plant, with 1.5L resin beds
Vanadyl sulphate bench pilot plant, with 1.5L resin beds

On the back of these encouraging results, IPEX Solutions designed, constructed and commissioned a demonstration plant at significantly larger scales, whereby any scaleup challenges of the new process would be identified. To this end, X GROUP Technologies executed the design, construction and commissioning of the much larger demonstration-scale plant as shown below.


Vanadyl sulphate demonstration plant constructed at IPEX Solutions, with 360L resin beds
Vanadyl sulphate demonstration plant constructed at IPEX Solutions, with 360L resin beds
SMB IX pipe and valve manifold
SMB IX pipe and valve manifold

The new plant incorporates all recent process refinements developed at IPEX Solutions. This includes our standard simulated moving bed ion exchange (SMB IX) pipe and valve manifold shown on the left, which was still under construction in July 2023.


The VFB flowsheet includes the innovative resin rinse system whereby exceptional eluate purities are achievable.



Multi-step rinse system visible on the left
Multi-step rinse system visible on the left

The new demonstration plant includes two tank reactors coupled with filtration equipment for solid-liquid separation. This is used for the precipitation of a vanadium dioxide compound which can be dried and oxidised to high purity V2O5.


Tank reactors and filtration facilities
Tank reactors and filtration facilities

The scaled-up process was successfully commissioned in August 2023, followed by production of the first batches of high purity solutions as well as the vanadium dioxide precipitate shown below.


Large batches of vanadium dioxide compound produced.
Large batches of vanadium dioxide compound produced
Lionel Pretorius and Bryan Price
Lionel Pretorius and Bryan Price

Congratulations to Bryan Price (X GROUP Technologies General Manager), and Lionel Pretorius (ENVEX Operations Manager) and all who supported them!


The engineering of this plant was executed in only a few months at an exceptional standard. Well done also to the X GROUP Technologies team for conceptualising and commissioning this important facility at IPEX Solutions for the ongoing research and development, whereby our value proposition to clients and processing partners is further strengthened.

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