What Is the Chief Ore of Aluminum?


Quick Answer

Although bauxite is a chief ore of aluminum, there are other ores that also contain this element like potassium aluminum sulfate and gibbsite. Aluminum is not found in elemental form in nature but in different compounds like bauxite that contains aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide is also called alumina.

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Full Answer

Aluminum also is found in different types of silicates and oxides. However, bauxite is the ore most readily used for aluminum extraction. The two main processes utilized for extraction purposes are electrolysis or the Bayer process.

The extraction of aluminum from bauxite can involve purifying bauxite to get the byproduct aluminum oxide, using electrolysis to extract aluminum from aluminum oxide and refining the aluminum.

Aluminum is a metal that is lightweight as well as strong. Aluminum and its alloys are used extensively in many industries and for different applications that include from foil to lightweight parts for aircraft.

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