How to extract aluminium by electrolysis | Chemistry for All | FuseSchool

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Aluminium is probably the most ample steel on Earth. Nevertheless, it’s costly as a result of loads of electrical energy is used to extract it.

Bauxite is the aluminium ore. It’s purified to yield aluminium oxide, which is a white powder. Aluminium is then extracted from aluminium oxide by electrolysis.

The aluminium oxide should be made molten in order that the ions can cross via it throughout electrolysis. Aluminium oxide has a really excessive melting level – over 2000 levels celsius. So as an alternative of making an attempt to soften it, the aluminium oxide is dissolved in molten cryolite.

Cryolite is an aluminium compound with a a lot decrease melting level than aluminium oxide, and so utilizing this reduces a number of the prices in extracting aluminium.

The metal case is coated with graphite, offering the detrimental cathode. The constructive anodes are immersed within the molten cryolite, and are additionally made from graphite.

When the battery is turned on and electrical energy flows, the aluminium kinds on the detrimental cathode and sinks to the underside of the tank the place is is tapped off as a pure liquid steel. Oxygen kinds on the constructive anodes. The oxygen reacts with the carbon of the graphite, forming carbon dioxide. The constructive anode due to this fact burns away, and wishes changing recurrently. That is another excuse for the extraction of aluminium being so costly.

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