The Magical Element – Aluminum

Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It’s used in a variety of products, from foil to cans to aircrafts. And while it’s commonplace in our lives, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this metal. Sometimes it even seems a little magical.

To make aluminum, an ore called bauxite is first mined. Aluminum is extracted from bauxite using the Hall-Héroult process. This process was invented in 1886 by two French scientists, Paul Héroult and Charles Martin Hall. This ore, when refined is called alumina, which is then smelted to create pure aluminum ingots. The ingots are then rolled into sheets, which are used to make various products, such as cans and foil.

Aluminum foil is one of those everyday items that we take for granted. Have you ever wondered how it’s made? Aluminum foil is made by putting aluminum through a rolling mill. The rolling mill process creates thin sheets of aluminum that are then used to make foil.

Another seemingly magical aluminum product is the can. Aluminum cans are made by a process called drawing. Drawing involves putting an aluminum sheet through a die, which gives the can its shape. The can is then cooled and trimmed to create the final product.

The process of creating aluminum is complex and involves a lot of energy, but the end result is a versatile and valuable material that we rely on every day. But making aluminum isn’t just about creating household products. Aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth, which makes it an incredibly important resource. Aluminum has a bright, silvery appearance. It’s used in everything from transportation to construction to electronics and aircraft parts. The high conductivity of aluminum makes it an excellent material for electrical wires and cables, too.

The use of aluminum in these industries helps reduce the weight of vehicles, planes, and ships, thus improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.  

In the past, aluminum has been used primarily in the construction industry. However, aluminum is also used in a variety of other industries, including the automotive and aerospace industries. Looking to the future, aluminum will continue to be a versatile metal with a wide range of uses. One area that is expected to see growth is aluminum’s use in the battery industry. As electric vehicles become more popular, the demand for aluminum batteries is expected to increase. So, whether you’re someone who is interested in the current or future uses of aluminum, this metal is sure to be a topic of interest for years to come.

Additionally, the construction industry is also expected to be a major user of aluminum in the future. Due to its lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties, aluminum is already used in various applications within the industry, such as in roofing, siding, and window frames. As more sustainable and energy-efficient building practices are adopted, the use of aluminum is expected to increase.

In fact, one of the most unique types of aluminum is the clear metal. Clear metal aluminum is a type of pure aluminum that has been refined to eliminate the inconsistencies and defects common in standard aluminum. The result is an aluminum that is transparent and can take on a variety of hues and colors when treated with different anodizing methods. Clear metal aluminum products are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. From phone cases to water bottles, sunglasses to jewelry, clear metal aluminum products are taking the world by storm. Now, that really seems magical.

With so much use for aluminum, thank goodness it is both abundant and highly recyclable. In fact, recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy required to produce aluminum from raw materials. This is just one reason why it’s important to recycle our aluminum products and keep them out of landfills.

So next time you come across an aluminum product, take a moment to appreciate the amazing technology and resources that go into creating it. And don’t forget to recycle it when you’re done!

By recycling aluminum, we can save a significant amount of energy and resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and prevent the depletion of natural resources. Although the process of extracting aluminum is energy-intensive, the metal is highly recyclable. Recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to extract it from bauxite. This makes recycling aluminum an environmentally friendly option.

  It’s estimated that recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours, and recycling just one ton of aluminum can save 14,000 kWh of energy and prevent the emission of 23,000 pounds of greenhouse gas.

Additionally, recycled aluminum can be used to create new products, reducing the need for virgin materials and further conserving natural resources. This helps to create a circular economy where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and products are reused and recycled indefinitely.

So, let’s do our part by recycling our aluminum products. Not only will it help to protect the environment, but it will also ensure that valuable resources are not wasted and can be used for generations to come.

This article is brought to you by Sybrina Durant, the author of the middle grade picture book, Magical Elements of the Periodic Table Presented Alphabetically By The Metal Horn Unicorns. In that book and also in The Journey To Osm collection, Aluminum is presented by the unicorn, Alumna. Read Alumna’s Story.

Fun Periodic Table Themed Gifts

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