Vanadium salts may be obtained from mottramite by digesting the mineral with concentrated hydrochloric acid, the liquid being run off and the residue well washed; the acid liquid and the washings are then evaporated with ammonium chloride, when ammonium metavanadate separates.
This is recrystallized and roasted to vanadium pentoxide, which is then suspended in water into which ammonia is passed, when ammonium metavanadate is again formed and may be purified by recrystallization.
The pentoxide, V205, is obtained when ammonium metavanadate is strongly heated, on calcining the sulphide, or by the decomposition of vanadyl trichloride with water.
According to Ditte (Comptes rendus, 101, p. 698) it exists in three forms: a red amorphous soluble form which results when ammonium metavanadate is heated in a closed vessel and the residue oxidized with nitric acid and again heated; a yellow amorphous insoluble form which is obtained when the vanadate is heated in a current of air at 440° C.; and a red crystalline form which is almost insoluble in water.
Ammonium metavanadate is obtained when the hydrated vanadium pentoxide is dissolved in excess of ammonia and the solution concentrated.