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Chemical Fact Sheet

Aluminum

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 7429-90-5
Synonyms A-00; A-95; A-99; A-995; A999; A999V; AA-1099; AA1193; AA1199; AD-1; AD1M; ADO; ADOM; AE; ALAUN- (GERMAN); ALLBRI-ALUMINUM-PASTE-AND-POWDER; ALUMINA-FIBRE; ALUMINIUM; ALUMINIUM-BRONZE; ALUMINIUM-FLAKE; ALUMINUM-27; ALUMINUM-DEHYDRATED; ALUMINUM-POWDER; ALUMINUM-27; AO-A1; AO-AL; AR2; AV00; AV000; CI-77000; EMANAY-ATOMIZED-ALUMINUM-POWDER; JISC-3108; JISC-3110; L16; METANA; METANA-ALUMINUM-PASTE; NORAL-ALUMINIUM; NORAL-EXTRA-FINE-LINING-GRADE; NORAL-INK-GRADE-ALUMINIUM; NORAL NON-LEAFING GRADE; PAP-1; Aluminum-A00; C-pigment 1 (German); Caswell-no-028A; EPA-pesticide-chemical-code-000111
Analytical Methods 200.7 - 200.8 - 6010 - 6020
Atomic Symbol Al

Synopsis from the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 92nd Edition 2011-2013

Aluminum - (L. alumen, alum), Al; at. wt. 26.9815386(8); at. no. 13; m.p. 660.32 °C; b.p. 2519 °C; sp. gr. 2.6989 (20 °C); valence 3. The ancient Greeks and Romans used alum in medicine as an astringent, and as a mordant in dyeing. In 1761 de Morveau proposed the name alumine for the base in alum, and Lavoisier, in 1787, thought this to be the oxide of a still undiscovered metal. Wohler is generally credited with having isolated the metal in 1827, although an impure form was prepared by Oersted two years earlier. In 1807, Davy proposed the name alumium for the metal, undiscovered at that time, and later agreed to change it to aluminum. Shortly thereafter, the name aluminium was adopted to conform with the “ium” ending of most elements, and this spelling is now in use elsewhere in the world. Aluminium was also the accepted spelling in the U.S. until 1925, at which time the American Chemical Society officially decided to use the name aluminum thereafter in their publications. The method of obtaining aluminum metal by the electrolysis of alumina dissolved in cryolite was discovered in 1886 by Hall in the U.S. and at about the same time by Heroult in France. Cryolite, a natural ore found in Greenland, is no longer widely used in commercial production, but has been replaced by an artificial mixture of sodium, aluminum, and calcium fluorides. Bauxite, an impure hydrated oxide ore, is found in large deposits in Jamaica, Australia, Suriname, Guyana, Russia, Arkansas, and elsewhere. The Bayer process is most commonly used today to refine bauxite so it can be accommodated in the Hall–Heroult refining process used to make most aluminum. Aluminum can now be produced from clay, but the process is not economically feasible at present. Aluminum is the most abundant metal to be found in the Earth’s crust (8.1%), but is never found free in nature. In addition to the minerals mentioned above, it is found in feldspars, granite, and in many other common minerals. Twenty-two isotopes and isomers are known. Natural aluminum is made of one isotope, 27Al. Pure aluminum, a silvery-white metal, possesses many desirable characteristics. It is light, nontoxic, has a pleasing appearance, can easily be formed, machined, or cast, has a high thermal conductivity, and has excellent corrosion resistance. It is nonmagnetic and nonsparking, stands second among metals in the scale of malleability, and sixth in ductility. It is extensively used for kitchen utensils, outside building decoration, and in thousands of industrial applications where a strong, light, easily constructed material is needed. Although its electrical conductivity is only about 60% that of copper, it is used in electrical transmission lines because of its light weight. Pure aluminum is soft and lacks strength, but it can be alloyed with small amounts of copper, magnesium, silicon, manganese, and other elements to impart a variety of useful properties. These alloys are of vital importance in the construction of modern aircraft and rockets. Aluminum, evaporated in a vacuum, forms a highly reflective coating for both visible light and radiant heat. These coatings soon form a thin layer of the protective oxide and do not deteriorate as do silver coatings. They have found application in coatings for telescope mirrors, in making decorative paper, packages, toys, and in many other uses. The compounds of greatest importance are aluminum oxide, the sulfate, and the soluble sulfate with potassium (alum). The oxide, alumina, occurs naturally as ruby, sapphire, corundum, and emery, and is used in glassmaking and refractories. Synthetic ruby and sapphire have found application in the construction of lasers The Elements 4-3 for producing coherent light. In 1852, the price of aluminum was about $1200/kg, and just before Hall’s discovery in 1886, about $25/kg. The price rapidly dropped to 60˘ and has been as low as 33˘/kg. The price in December 2001 was about 64˘/ lb or $1.40/kg.
Use IN MFR OF PRINTING INKS; IN THE AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY FOR ABSORBING OCCLUDED GASES IN MFR OF STEEL; INSTEAD OF COPPER IN DENTAL ALLOYS IN TESTING FOR GOLD, ARSENIC, MERCURY; PRECIPITATING COPPER REDUCER FOR DETERMINING NITRATES AND NITRITES; COAGULATING COLLOIDAL SOLN OF ARSENIC OR ANTIMONY COARSE POWDER IS USED IN ALUMINOTHERMICS (THERMITE PROCESS); FINE POWDER AS FLASHLIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHY AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY; IN JEWELRY INDUSTRY BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION; CORROSION-RESISTANT CHEM EQUIPMENT (DESALINATION PLANTS) MFR OF POWDERS FOR ALLOYS & PAINTS, CERAMIC-FACED ARMOR FOR DEFENSE INDUST, EXPLOSIVES & INCENDIARIES CHEM INT FOR OTHER INORGANIC ALUMINUM CHEMS & OTHER ORGANIC ALUMINUM CHEMS; STEEL DEOXIDIZER PHOTOENGRAVING PLATES; PERMANENT MAGNETS; CRYOGENIC TECHNOLOGY; FOAMED CONCRETE; VACUUM METALLIZING & COATING DECORATIVE STAMPING; FLAKES FOR INSULATION OF LIQUID FUELS ALUMINUM METAL IS AN IMPORTANT STRUCTURAL MATERIAL IN THE BUILDING, CANNING, AUTOMOBILE, & AVIATION INDUSTRIES, & ALUMINUM POWDER IS USED IN PAINTS. Insulations IN PRODUCTION OF EXPLOSIVES & FIREWORKS.
Consumption Patterns 24% USED IN MFR OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS; 23% FOR CANS, CONTAINERS, & FLEXIBLE PACKAGING; 20% FOR TRANSPORTATION MATERIAL & EQUIPMENT; 12% FOR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT; 8% FOR APPLIANCES & DURABLE EQUIPMENT; 7% FOR FABRICATED MACHINERY & PARTS; & 6% IN OTHER MISC APPLICATIONS (1975) Packaging, 38%; Transportation, 21%; Building, 16%; Electrical, 8%; Consumer Durables, 7%; and other uses, 10% (1985)
Apparent Color TIN-WHITE, MALLEABLE, DUCTILE METAL, WITH SOMEWHAT BLUISH TINT; SILVER WHITE DUCTILE METAL, CUBIC; CRYSTALLINE SOLID
Boiling Point 2327 DEG C
Melting Point 660 DEG C
Molecular Weight 26.98
Density 2.70
Sensitivity Data Aluminum (dust or powder) is a respiratory and eye irritant only.
Environmental Impact INHALATION OF COARSER VARIETY OF ALUMINUM DUST PRODUCED FROM MOLTEN METAL. WORKERS EXPOSED TO DUST OF ALUMINUM METAL IN PRODUCTION OF EXPLOSIVES & FIREWORKS. In workers in bauxite mines, foundries, and factories. In more than 1000 exposed workers given X-ray examinations of the chest, pulmonary changes were found in 3.5 percent of those exposed to bauxite dust, & in 4.9 percent exposed to cryolite dust in foundries and in factory workers exposed to alumina. Chronic fluorosis generally develops after prolonged (10-20 years) exposure to industrial dusts, insecticides, or water where fluorides exceed 3 to 4 ppm. This is especially true in workers involved in the production of aluminum, steel, or glass. In children living in the vicinity of poorly controlled aluminum smelters, variable degrees of mottling of permanent teeth have been reported if exposure occurred during the developmental phase of permanent teeth growth. Electrolytic production of aluminum can lead to a substantial exposure to fluorides and carcinogenic tar oils, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Primary aluminum production plants are located in about 40 countries. The two main methods used for aluminum production are Soderberg and prebake, which encompass a number of processes and job categories. Substantial exposures to airborne polynuclear aromatic compounds have been measured in certain occupational settings in this industry. Exposures have been higher in potrooms of plants using the Soderberg process than in those using the prebake process; some workers may have exposed to both process. Exposures to fluorides and a variety of other contaminants also occur in potrooms. In aluminum reduction plants from exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles and their associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Among coke oven workers, implicating coal tar pitch volatiles, a mutual exposure in aluminum reduction plants.

Chemical and

Physical Properties

DOES NOT VAPORIZE EVEN @ HIGH TEMP; CAPABLE OF TAKING BRILLIANT POLISH WHICH IS RETAINED IN DRY AIR; REDUCES THE CATIONS OF MANY HEAVY METALS TO THE METALLIC STATE. IN MOIST AIR, OXIDE FILM FORMS WHICH PROTECTS METAL FROM CORROSION. NATURALLY OCCURRING ISOTOPE: (27)ALUMINUM; IN ADDN, 6 RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES & 1 ISOMER ARE KNOWN GOOD CONDUCTOR OF HEAT & ELECTRICITY TENSILE STRENGTH (ANNEALED) 6800 PSI, COLD ROLLED 16,000 PSI; RAPIDLY OXIDIZED BY WATER @ 180 DEG C

Environmental Fate

WIDELY DISTRIBUTED IN EARTH'S CRUST IN COMBINATION WITH OXYGEN, FLUORINE, SILICON AND OTHER CONSTITUENTS. ITS MOST IMPORTANT SOURCES FROM THE INDUSTRIAL POINT OF VIEW ARE BAUXITE, CRYOLITE, ALUMINUM , CORUNDUM AND THE KAOLIN MINERALS. DOES NOT OCCUR FREE IN NATURE. 2 ug/l of aluminum occurs in a dissolved state in seawater. The species in solution is Al(OH)4-1. Deposited on boiler tubes due to corrosion effects Air-dried, <2 mm fractions of 3 soil samples from The Netherlands and 1 from New Hampshire, were taken from the surface and sub-surface horizons of two podzols (Haplorthods) and of a recent driftsand (Udipsamment). Duplicate samples of each emulsion soil horizon were leached with aqueous hydrogen chloride (pH 3.0). Charge balances of the leachates indicate that dissolved aluminum is present mainly as aquo-aluminum(+3). Only in leachates of podzol Bhs horizons is a significant fraction (20-30%) of dissolved aluminum organically complexed. Dissolved aluminum concn are significantly correlated with the organic (Na4P2O7-extractable) aluminum content of the soil sample. Mobility of aluminum in the Hubbard Brook soils is significantly lower than in the Dutch soils, because of higher soil-solution pH values. Albic and spodic soil horizons were sampled from old growth eastern white pine/mixed northern hardwoods. Adirondacks, and an ochric soil horizon was sampled from the Appalachian plateau of NY State. 21 Three-horizon forest floor and 21 forest floor/mineral soil (field moist equivalent of 12.0 oven-dry albic, spodic, or ochric mineral soil) columns were leached in triplicate with either 10 uM nitric acid (pH 5), 5 uM sulfuric acid (pH 5), 100 uM nitric acid (pH 4), 50 uM sulfuric acid (pH 4), 1000 uM nitric acid (pH 3), 500 uM sulfuric acid (pH 3), or distilled, deionized water ((pH 5.7) control treatment). Nitric acid leached more aluminum than did sulfuric acid from forest floor/spodic soil columns. Increasing the nitric acid concn from pH 3-5 increased total aluminum concn in leachates from 0.70 to 0.85 mM, while increasing sulfuric acid had no effect. Addition of pH 3 sulfuric acid to forest floor spodic columns raised leachate pH relative to pH 3 nitric acid and controls, and resulted in the lowest aluminum concn of all treatments in the first 3 of 4 sequential leachings. Albic and spodic soil horizons were sampled from old growth eastern white pine/mixed northern hardwoods sites in the Adirondacks, and an ochric soil horizon was sampled from the Appalachian Plateau of NY State. 9 Three-horizon forest floor (FF), 9 mineral soil (field moist equivalent of 12.0 oven-dry albic, spodic, or ochric mineral soil) and 9 forest floor/mineral soil columns were leached with 60 ml of (a) 10 mM ammonium nitrate (control), (b) 1.0 mM nitric acid in 10 mM ammonium nitrate (pH 3), and (c) 1.0 mM ammonium nitrate (pH 3) at the rate of 10 ml/h. The above procedure was repeated on each mineral soil without a forest floor, except leaching soln were 0.5 mM calcium nitrate or calcium sulfate, each in 10 mM ammonium nitrate. Adding 2 and 0.5 cmol sub c (H+)/kg to forest floor and mineral soils, respectively, simulated snowmelt additions. Total aluminum concn in leachates from forest floor/albic or forest floor/ochric columns were greater than the sum of concn in leachates from the forest floor and mineral horizon when leached separately. This positive synergistic behavior of the forest floor-mineral horizon sequences was also observed in the forest floor-spodic horizon sequence when leached with control soln, but the synergism was negative for both labile and non-labile aluminum when leached with the acids. Sulfuric acid leached less aluminum from the spodic horizon than did nitric acid, regardless of the presence of a forest floor, but nitric acid, sulfuric acid , and control soln leached similar concn of aluminum from the albic and ochric horizons. The forest floor effects on the mineral soil leachates were attributed to effects of calcium, sulfate, nitrate, and dissolved organic C leached from the forest floor to the mineral horizon since forest floor removed nearly all added H+. in processing of coal.

Drinking Water

Impact

The solute and particulate aluminum chemistry of a relatively unpolluted snowfall associated with a maritime airmass was measured by neutron activation analysis and inductively-coupled plasma analysis (soluble fraction) and neutron activation analysis (particulate material), to characterize background conditions for the Scottish Highlands. Aluminum concentrations were compared to those found in a polluted black snowfall with a trajectory that originated over eastern Europe and to those levels found in seasonal snowpack. The variability of the concentration of solute and the chemical composition of particulate material is reported on an intra-and inter-site basis. The solute aluminum content of Scottish snowfall in the inter-site survey was 19.2 ug/l, and in the intra-site survey 52.2 ug/l. The aluminum composition of particulate matter found within Scottish snow was 20,600 ppm in the inter-site survey, and 21,100 ppm in the intra-site survey. For the black snow, the solute aluminum content was 84 + or - 3 ug/l, and the aluminum composition of particulate matter was 52,300 ppm. The mean concentration of aluminum in seasonal snowpack was 27,200 ppm.

Disposal

Recycling: Sort, classify and put in a box properly labelled. Salvage profitably for reuse by local shop or sell as scrap metal. Not recommendable method: Landfill.

Atmosphere

CONTENT IN URBAN AIR IS REPORTED UP TO ABOUT 10 UG/CU M; IN NONURBAN AREAS VALUES LOWER THAN 0.5 UG/CU M.


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