2010 Volume 51 Issue 6 Pages 1102-1108
A fundamental study was conducted on a new process for producing vanadium (V) metal by the preform reduction process (PRP) based on metallothermic reduction of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Feed preforms with good mechanical strength even at elevated temperatures were prepared by adding either CaO or MgO to V2O5 feed powder because V2O5 has a low melting point of 963 K; thus complex oxides (CaxVyOz, MgxVyOz) with high melting point at more than 1273 K were obtained. Reduction experiments were conducted by using either Ca or Mg vapor at 1273 K for 6 h. V metal with a purity of more than 99% was successfully obtained when using Mg as a reductant. The feasibility of producing V metal by the PRP will be discussed on the basis of fundamental experiments.