Journal of the American Chemical Society. Vanadium traces in diesel fuels are the main fuel component in high temperature corrosion. Vanadium compounds are used extensively as catalysts;  for example, the most common oxide of vanadium, vanadium pentoxide V 2 O 5 , is used as a catalyst in manufacturing sulfuric acid by the contact process  and as an oxidizer in maleic anhydride production. Bioinorganic Vanadium Chemistry. The routine use of vanadium for this purpose cannot be recommended. German chemist Martin Henze discovered vanadium in the hemovanadin proteins found in blood cells or coelomic cells of Ascidiacea sea squirts in Archived from the original PDF on 25 February There are two groups of vanadium steel alloys. The chemistry of vanadium is noteworthy for the accessibility of the four adjacent oxidation states 2—5.