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Circular 1196-S

Flow Studies for Recycling Metal Commodities in the United States

Vanadium Recycling in the United States in 2004

By Thomas G. Goonan

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As one of a series of reports that describe the recycling of metal commodities in the United States, this report discusses the flow of vanadium in the U.S. economy in 2004. This report includes a description of vanadium supply and demand in the United States and illustrates the extent of vanadium recycling and recycling trends.

In 2004, apparent vanadium consumption, by end use, in the United States was 3,820 metric tons (t) in steelmaking and 232 t in manufacturing, of which 17 t was for the production of superalloys and 215 t was for the production of other alloys, cast iron, catalysts, and chemicals. Vanadium use in steel is almost entirely dissipative because recovery of vanadium from steel scrap is chemically impeded under the oxidizing conditions in steelmaking furnaces. The greatest amount of vanadium recycling is in the superalloy, other-alloy, and catalyst sectors of the vanadium market. Vanadium-bearing catalysts are associated with hydrocarbon recovery and refining in the oil industry.

In 2004, 2,850 t of vanadium contained in alloy scrap and spent catalysts was recycled, which amounted to about 44 percent of U.S. domestic production. About 94 percent of vanadium use in the United States was dissipative (3,820 t in steel/4,050 t in steel+fabricated products).

Revised October 6, 2011; version 1.1

First posted August 4, 2011

For additional information contact:
Thomas G. Goonan
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 750
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225–0046
Telephone: (303) 236–5209
Fax: (303) 236–4208



Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat® Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Goonan, T.G., 2011, Vanadium recycling in the United States in 2004 (ver. 1.1, October 6, 2011), chap. S of Sibley, S.F., ed., Flow studies for recycling metal commodities in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1196, p. S1–S17, available only at





Sources and Disposition of Vanadium Scrap

Processing of Vanadium Scrap

Vanadium Scrap Trade


References Cited


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