Vanadyl sulfate

Vanadyl sulfate
IUPAC name
Oxovanadium(2+) sulfate
Other names
Basic vanadium(IV) sulfate
Vanadium(IV) oxide sulfate
Vanadium(IV) oxysulfate
27774-13-6 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.044.214
Molar mass 163.00 g/mol
Appearance Blue crystalline solid
Melting point 105 °C (221 °F; 378 K) decomposes
Main hazards Irritant
Flash point Non-flammble
Related compounds
Other anions
Vanadyl chloride
Vanadyl nitrate
Other cations
Vanadium(III) sulfate
Related compounds
Vanadyl acetylacetonate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Vanadyl(IV) sulfate, VOSO4, is a inorganic compound of vanadium. This very hygroscopic blue solid is one of the most common sources of vanadium in the laboratory, reflecting its high stability. It features the vanadyl ion, VO2+, which has been called the "most stable diatomic ion."[1]

Vanadyl sulfate is an intermediate in the extraction of vanadium from petroleum residues, a major commercial source of vanadium.[2] Vanadyl sulfate is a component of some food supplements and experimental drugs. Vanadyl sulfate exhibits insulin-like effects.[3]

Synthesis, structure, and reactions

Vanadyl sulfate is most commonly obtained by reduction of vanadium pentoxide with sulfur dioxide:

V2O5 + 7 H2O + SO2 + H2SO4 → 2 [V(O)(H2O)4]SO4

From aqueous solution, the salt crystallizes as the pentahydrate, the fifth water is not bound to the metal in the solid. Viewed as a coordination complex, the ion is octahedral, with oxo, four equatorial water ligands, and a monodentate sulfate.[1]

The V=O bond distance is 160 pm in length, about 50 pm shorter than the V–OH2 bonds. In solution, the sulfate ion dissociates rapidly.

Being widely available, vanadyl sulfate is a common precursor to other vanadyl derivatives, such as vanadyl acetylacetonate:[4]

[V(O)(H2O)4]SO4 + 2C5H8O2 + Na2CO3 → [V(O)(C5H7O2)2] + Na2SO4 + 5 H2O + CO2

In acidic solution, oxidation of vanadyl sulfate gives yellow-coloured vanadyl(V) derivatives. Reduction, e.g. by zinc, gives vanadium(III) and vanadium(II) derivatives, which are characteristically green and violet, respectively.

Occurrence in nature

Like most water-soluble sulfates, vanadyl sulfate is only rarely found in nature. Anhydrous form is pauflerite,[5] a mineral of fumarolic origin. Hydrated forms, also rare, include hexahydrate (stanleyite), pentahydrates (minasragrite, orthominasragrite,[6] and anorthominasragrite) and trihydrate - .[7]

Medical research

Vanadyl sulfate has been extensively studied in the field of diabetes research as a potential means of increasing insulin sensitivity; however systematic reviews of the existing literature have found no rigorous evidence that oral vanadium supplementation improves glycaemic control.[8][9] Treatment with vanadium often results in gastrointestinal side-effects, primarily diarrhea.

Vanadyl sulfate is also marketed as a health supplement, often for body-building. Since vanadium has no biological function in mammals this is a relatively controversial practice. Its effectiveness for body building has not been proven; some evidence suggests that athletes who take it are merely experiencing a placebo effect.[10]


  1. 1 2 Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1984). Chemistry of the Elements. Oxford: Pergamon Press. p. 1157. ISBN 0-08-022057-6.
  2. Günter Bauer, Volker Güther, Hans Hess, Andreas Otto, Oskar Roidl, Heinz Roller, Siegfried Sattelberger in "Vanadium and Vanadium Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005.
  3. Crans, D. C., Trujillo, A. M., Pharazyn, P. S., Cohen, M. D., "How environment affects drug activity: Localization, compartmentalization and reactions of a vanadium insulin-enhancing compound, dipicolinatooxovanadium(V)", Coord. Chem. Rev. 2011, 255, 2178. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2011.01.032
  4. Bryant, Burl E.; Fernelius, W. Conard (1957), "Vanadium(IV) Oxy(acetylacetonate)", Inorg. Synth., 5: 113–16, doi:10.1002/9780470132364.ch30
  5. Krivovichev, S. V.; Vergasova, L. P.; Britvin, S. N.; Filatov, S. K.; Kahlenberg, V.; Ananiev, V. V. (1 August 2007). "PAUFLERITE, -VO(SO4), A NEW MINERAL SPECIES FROM THE TOLBACHIK VOLCANO, KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, RUSSIA". The Canadian Mineralogist. 45 (4): 921–927. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.45.4.921.
  6. Hawthorne, F. C.; Schindler, M.; Grice, J. D.; Haynes, P. (1 October 2001). "ORTHOMINASRAGRITE, V4+O (SO4) (H2O)5, A NEW MINERAL SPECIES FROM TEMPLE MOUNTAIN, EMERY COUNTY, UTAH, U.S.A.". The Canadian Mineralogist. 39 (5): 1325–1331. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.39.5.1325.
  7. Schindler, M.; Hawthorne, F. C.; Huminicki, D. M.C.; Haynes, P.; Grice, J. D.; Evans, H. T. (1 February 2003). "BOBJONESITE, V4+ O (SO4) (H2O)3, A NEW MINERAL SPECIES FROM TEMPLE MOUNTAIN, EMERY COUNTY, UTAH, U.S.A.". The Canadian Mineralogist. 41 (1): 83–90. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.41.1.83.
  8. Yeh, Gloria Y.; Eisenberg, David M.; Kaptchuk, Ted J.; Phillips, Russell S. (2003). "Systematic Review of Herbs and Dietary Supplements for Glycemic Control in Diabetes". Diabetes Care. 26 (4): 1277–1294. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.4.1277. PMID 12663610.
  9. Smith, D.M.; Pickering, R.M.; Lewith, G.T. (31 January 2008). "A systematic review of vanadium oral supplements for glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus". QJM. 101 (5): 351–358. doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcn003.
  10. Talbott, Shawn M.; Hughes, Kerry (2007). "Vanadium". The Health Professional's Guide to Dietary Supplements. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 419–422. ISBN 978-0-7817-4672-4.
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