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Vanadium is unusual among metals in having a large number of stable oxidation states (+2, +3, +4, and +5), each of which is characterized by a different color in solution. The metal is used as an alloying agent and combines with nearly all non-metals in compounds. It has a low melting point and good conductivity, but it also shows an abrupt change in temperature at a moderately high temperature, producing a transition between a lower-temperature phase with semiconducting properties and a much higher temperature one with metallic-like conductivity. The materials showing this transition are called thermochromic.
vanadium ii oxide formula is one of these materials. It can be produced from coal and natural gas by heating them together with scrap iron to form ferrovanadium. This is the major industrial use of vanadium. A more interesting application is for its optical properties. It has the potential to be used as a transparent material in windows. The temperature at which it makes a transition from a clear to a blueish-black state can be tuned, making it suitable for various applications involving transparency and thermal control.
It can be reduced with zinc to give the dioxovanadium(V) ion in solution. It will oxidise quite easily with nitric acid. However, it won’t go all the way to the vanadium(V) ion. In order to do that it would need to have the more negative Edeg value – and it hasn’t got that.
Zinc can reduce it through a series of steps to give the zinc (II) dioxovanadium(V) complex ion, [VO(H2O)5]2+. It will then oxidise to give maleic anhydride, which is an important industrial material for polyester resins and alkyd resins. It can also catalyse the oxidation of ortho-xylene or naphthalene to produce phthalic anhydride, another plasticiser.