Vanadium for green energy: increasing demand but with health implications in volcanic terrains

John Parnell* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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The transition to a clean energy future may require a very substantial increase in resources of vanadium. This trend brings into focus the potential health issues related to vanadium in the environment. Most vanadium enters the Earth's crust through volcanic rocks; hence, vanadium levels in groundwaters in volcanic aquifers are higher than in other aquifers and can exceed local guidance limits. The biggest accumulation of volcanogenic sediment on the planet is downwind of the Andes and makes up much of Argentina. Consequently, groundwaters in Argentina have the highest vanadium contents and constitute a global vanadium anomaly. The high vanadium contents have given rise to health concerns. Vanadium could be extracted during remediation of domestic and other groundwater, and although the resultant resource is limited, it would be gained using low-energy technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GH000579
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Early online date26 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Research was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/T003677/1). J. Johnston and J. Bowie provided skilled technical support. The manuscript benefitted from a constructive review.

Data Availability Statement

All data are reviewed from published literature and included in this paper.


  • vanadium
  • groundwater
  • volcanic rocks
  • Argentina


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