Author:Shanghai Yika Addtime:2016/8/13

Aluminum has six radioactive isotopes. A radioactive isotope gives off either energy or subatomic particles in order to reduce the atomic mass and become stable. When the emission produces a change in the number of protons, the atom is no longer the same element. The particles and energy emitted from the nucleus are called radiation. The process of decaying from one element into another is known as radioactive decay.

Aluminum production is a two-step process. First, aluminum oxide is separated from bauxite by the Bayer process. In this process, bauxite is mixed with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which dissolves the aluminum oxide. The other compounds in bauxite are left behind.

The aluminum oxide is then treated with a process similar to the Hall method. There is not enough natural cryolite to make all the aluminum alloy needed, so synthetic (artificial) cryolite is manufactured for this purpose. The chemical reaction is the same with synthetic cryolite as with natural cryolite. About 21 million metric tons of aluminum were produced in 1996 by this two-stage process.


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