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  1. William B. Frank1,
  2. Warren E. Haupin1,
  3. Helmut Vogt2,
  4. Marshall Bruno1,
  5. Jomar Thonstad3,
  6. Robert K. Dawless4,
  7. Halvor Kvande5,
  8. Oyebode A. Taiwo6

Published Online: 15 JUL 2009

DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a01_459.pub2

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

How to Cite

Frank, W. B., Haupin, W. E., Vogt, H., Bruno, M., Thonstad, J., Dawless, R. K., Kvande, H. and Taiwo, O. A. 2009. Aluminum. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    retired from Aluminum Company of America, Alcoa Center, PA, USA

  2. 2

    Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany

  3. 3

    Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

  4. 4

    Aluminum Company of America, Alcoa Center, PA, USA

  5. 5

    Hydro Aluminium, Oslo, Norway

  6. 6

    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2009

Chemistry Terms

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Aluminum [7429-90-5] is a silver-white metal of group 13 of the periodic table. It is the most abundant metallic element in the earth's crust, but is never found in nature in its elemental state. It occurs mainly as very stable oxides, hydroxides, and silicates. The first commercial aluminum was produced in 1854 by H. Saint-Claire Deville by reaction of sodium metal with molten sodium aluminum chloride, but mass production of aluminum awaited the invention in 1886 of electrolytic reduction of alumina dissolved in molten cryolite, independently invented by C. M. Hall in the USA and P. Héroult in France. All industrial production of aluminum today is done in Hall–Héroult cells with prebaked carbon or self-baking Söderberg anodes. Aluminum has many desirable physical properties. It is malleable and lightweight. Pure aluminum is relatively soft and weak, but it forms many strong alloys. It has high thermal and electrical conductivity. Aluminum's adherent surface oxide film makes it corrosion resistant. It resists attack by most acids, but alkaline solutions dissolve the oxide film and cause rapid corrosion.

2.Properties of Pure Aluminum
2.1.Mechanical Properties
2.2.Physical Properties
3.Chemical Properties
3.1.Oxidation of Aluminum
3.2.Reactions with Aqueous Solutions
3.3.Reactions at High Temperatures
3.5.Gases and Aluminum
4.1.History of the Electrolytic Reduction of Alumina
4.2.Raw Materials
4.3.Electrolytic Cell for Aluminum Production
4.3.2.Electrode Reactions
4.3.3.Anode Effect
4.3.4.Current Efficiency
4.3.5.Cell Voltage
4.3.6.Heat Balance
4.3.7.Fluid Dynamics
4.4.Thermodynamic Considerations
4.5.Alternate Processes
4.6.Inert Electrodes
4.6.1.Inert Anodes
4.6.2.Inert Cathodes
5.Producing High-Purity Aluminum
6.Environmental Protection
6.1.Air Emission
6.2.Wastewater Discharge
6.3.Solid Waste
6.4.Regulatory Requirements
7.Economic Aspects
8.Toxicology and Occupational Health