Widely Used For Aluminum

Author:Shanghai Yika Addtime:2016/7/18

The first person to accomplish that task for aluminum alloy was Danish chemist and physicist Hans Christian Oersted . Oersted heated a combination of alumina and potassium amalgam. An amalgam is an alloy of a metal and mercury. In this reaction, Oersted produced an aluminum amalgamaluminum metal in combination with mercury. He was unable, however, to separate the aluminum from the mercury.

Today, aluminum is the most widely used metal in the world after iron.

Pure aluminum metal was finally produced in 1827 by German chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800-82). Wöhler used a method perfected by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), who succeeded in isolating several elements during his life-time. (See sidebar on Davy in the calcium entry.) Wöhler heated a mixture of aluminum chloride and potassium metal. Being more active, the potassium replaces the aluminum, as shown by the following:

The pure aluminum can then be collected as a gray powder, which must be melted to produce the shiny aluminum that is most familiar to consumers.

After Wöhler's work, it was possible, but very expensive, to produce pure aluminum. It cost so much that there were almost no commercial uses for it.


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