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vanadium iii sulfate is an ionic salt that forms between positively charged vanadium cations and negatively charged sulfate anions. The chemical formula for vanadium sulfate is V 2 SO 4 and the ionic salt exists as a blue crystalline solid in its pure state. It is soluble in water and possesses weak oxidizing and reducing properties. It can be used as a catalyst in the preparation of aqueous organic redox flow battery stacks.
Generally, a method is utilized to prepare a sulfuric acid aqueous solution of vanadium (III) sulfate. However, such a process requires the use of vanadium trichloride and is expensive and difficult to control the generated hydrogen chloride. It is also disadvantageous to the environment as a large amount of water is generated in the reaction.
The present invention provides a process for efficiently producing a sulfuric acid aqueous soln of vanadium (III) sulfate that is useful as an electrolyte in a vanadium redox flow battery. In the process of the invention, a raw material of vanadium (III) oxide is heated in an aqueous sulfuric acid solution to form a sulfate. In addition, a sulfuric acid of high concentration and the appropriate amount of stabilized sulfate can be added to the reaction mixture.
The present invention is further characterized by the fact that an inert gas such as nitrogen gas is passed through the reaction mixture. By doing so, the water in the raw material and the water generated in the reaction is effectively removed. Consequently, the production of vanadium sulfate in the present invention can be carried out at a higher speed and in a much more efficient manner.