Does Aluminum React With Water?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 14, 2020 8:49:10 AM ET

Aluminum does react with water. The reaction happens differently, depending on what form the aluminum is in and what other elements it is bonded to.

Aluminum metal forms a layer of aluminum oxide a few millimeters thick when it first comes in contact with water. As that aluminum oxide layer is corroded, hydrogen gas is released. Aluminum chloride undergoes hydrolysis in water and forms a vapor when in contact with air. Hydrochloric acid is formed when it reacts with water vapor. Aluminum ions found in other compounds also undergo hydrolysis until the reaction is ended by the formation of a hydroxide.