Vanadium metabolism investigation using substance flow and scenario analysis
Vanadium is a vital strategic resource, and vanadium metabolism is an important part of the national socio-economic system of China. This study conducts accounting and scenario analysis on the life cycle of vanadium metabolism in China. Based on the characteristics of vanadium life cycle and substance flow analysis (SFA) framework, we present a quantitative evaluation of a static anthropogenic vanadium life cycle for the year 2010. Results show that anthropogenic vanadium consumption, stocks, and new domestic scrap are at 98.2, 21.2, and 4.1 kt, respectively; new scrap is usually discarded. The overall utilization ratio of vanadium is 32.2%. A large amount of vanadium is stockpiled into tailings, debris, slags, and other spent solids. A scenario analysis was conducted to analyze the future developmental trend of vanadium metabolism in China based on the SFA framework and the qualitative analysis of technology advancement and socio-economic development. The baseline year was set as 2010. Several indicators were proposed to simulate different scenarios from 2010 to 2030. The scenario analysis indicates that the next 20 years is a critical period for the vanadium industry in China. This paper discusses relevant policies that contribute to the improvement of sustainable vanadium utilization in China.