When combined, copper(II) chloride and aluminum form copper metal and aluminum chloride. The balanced equation for the reaction is 3CuCl2 + 2Al => 2AlCl3 + 3Cu, where Cu symbolizes copper, Cl symbolizes chlorine and Al symbolizes aluminum.
During the reaction between copper(II) chloride and aluminum, the aluminum dissolves to create a solution with aluminum ions with a +3 charge and copper metal. The aluminum gains this charge by losing electrons during the reaction. This type of reaction is known as an oxidation-reduction reaction, or a redox reaction. It is also an exothermic reaction, meaning that heat is released during the process.