OUR SOLUTION – WAVE:

  • A novel approach to produce vanadium electrolyte directly from heavy oil waste ash
  • The only existing technology for directly producing vanadium electrolyte from waste stream
  • Eliminating of vanadium penta-oxide production, our low temperature process design for vanadium electrolyte lead to less GHG emissions compared to conventional extraction and production processes
  • Estimated reduction in production cost of vanadium electrolyte is up to 60%
  • Less environmental (GHG and land) emissions than conventional methods
  • Can be one of the cost-effective solutions to meet the demand of the growth in energy storage
  • US patent (US 10301705) – Granted
  • Canadian patent (2962794) – Application in process
  • Leveraged both provincial (Alberta) and federal (Canada) governmental support (funding and in-kind)

Innovation Visual 

Why Producing Vanadium Electrolyte from Waste Ash? 

Vanadium and vanadium-based products are amongst key enablers for maximizing renewable energy integration into energy mix. Large capacities make vanadium redox batteries (VRBs) well suited to use in large power storage applications having a discharge capability ideal for use in wind or solar energy storage. The current global market size of vanadium electrolyte is ~ 400 MWh of annual electrolyte production capacity. However, less than 1% of the world vanadium consumption can be attributed to battery use. Vanadium demand in VRB applications conservatively projected to grow, worldwide, particularly in utilities for both remote and on-grid locations, remains strong in today’s and future market. Lack of domestic supply of vanadium electrolyte, keep the local price high. The overall market is set to expand dramatically in the coming decade.

The use of extracted vanadium from secondary source for vanadium redox flow battery (VRB) application is the main interest of WAVE project. EnSciTech brings an innovative picture into vanadium electrolyte production to address the high cost of the electrolyte and insufficient supply of vanadium for VRB application. Though the initial market for vanadium in batteries, is supplied via primary sources (i.e. vanadium mining), heavy oil waste (such as oil sands waste in Alberta) can potentially be a significant secondary source which can be integrated into market suppliers for vanadium electrolyte.  The waste ash contains a high concentration of vanadium, nickel, and carbon. All three can be used in batteries. EnSciTech has developed a technology for direct production of vanadium electrolyte from waste and is aiming for pilot-scale demonstration in Q3 – 2020.

STATE OF DEVELOPMENT: TRL 4/5

  • TRL 1: Idea generation, basic principals observed and conceptualized – 2014
  • TRL 2:  Technology concept and application formulated (patent application) – 2015
  • TRL 3: Analytical and experimental proof-of-concept completed (sampling and analysis) – 2016
  • TRL 4:  Physical proof-of concept/ technology validation completed (lab-scale) – 2017
  • TLR 5:  Techno-Economic Assessment / Validation of the Technology – 2019
  • TRL 6: Bench Scale / Demonstration Model building – 2020

We use TRL definition stated by Alberta Innovates and can be found here. 

WAVE – ROADMAP