Aluminium oxide

Aluminium oxide (IUPAC name) or aluminum oxide (American English) is a chemical compound of aluminium and oxygen with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is the most commonly occurring of several aluminium oxides, and specifically identified as aluminium(III) oxide. It is commonly called alumina and may also be called aloxide, aloxite, or alundum depending on particular forms or applications. It occurs naturally in its crystalline polymorphic phase α-Al2O3 as the mineral corundum, varieties of which form the precious gemstones ruby and sapphire. Al2O3 is significant in its use to produce aluminium metal, as an abrasive owing to its hardness, and as a refractory material owing to its high melting point.[7]

Aluminium oxide
(Aluminum oxide)
Aluminium oxide2
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.014.265
RTECS number BD120000
Molar mass 101.960 g·mol−1
Appearance white solid
Odor odorless
Density 3.987g/cm3
Melting point 2,072 °C (3,762 °F; 2,345 K)[3]
Boiling point 2,977 °C (5,391 °F; 3,250 K)[4]
Solubility insoluble in diethyl ether
practically insoluble in ethanol
log P 0.31860[1]
−37.0×10−6 cm3/mol
Thermal conductivity 30 W·m−1·K−1[2]
Birefringence 0.008
Trigonal, hR30, space group = R3c, No. 167
a = 478.5 pm, c = 1299.1 pm
50.92 J·mol−1·K−1[5]
−1675.7 kJ/mol[5]
D10AX04 (WHO)
Safety data sheet See: data page
Not listed.
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., waterHealth code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentineReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point Non-flammable
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
OSHA 15 mg/m3 (Total Dust)
OSHA 5 mg/m3 (Respirable Fraction)
ACGIH/TLV 10 mg/m3
REL (Recommended)
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Related compounds
Other anions
aluminium hydroxide
Other cations
boron trioxide
gallium oxide
indium oxide
thallium oxide
Supplementary data page
Refractive index (n),
Dielectric constantr), etc.
Phase behaviour
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Natural occurrence

Corundum is the most common naturally occurring crystalline form of aluminium oxide.[8] Rubies and sapphires are gem-quality forms of corundum, which owe their characteristic colors to trace impurities. Rubies are given their characteristic deep red color and their laser qualities by traces of chromium. Sapphires come in different colors given by various other impurities, such as iron and titanium.


Oxid hlinitý
Aluminium oxide in its powdered form.

Al2O3 is an electrical insulator but has a relatively high thermal conductivity (30 Wm−1K−1)[2] for a ceramic material. Aluminium oxide is insoluble in water. In its most commonly occurring crystalline form, called corundum or α-aluminium oxide, its hardness makes it suitable for use as an abrasive and as a component in cutting tools.[7]

Aluminium oxide is responsible for the resistance of metallic aluminium to weathering. Metallic aluminium is very reactive with atmospheric oxygen, and a thin passivation layer of aluminium oxide (4 nm thickness) forms on any exposed aluminium surface.[9] This layer protects the metal from further oxidation. The thickness and properties of this oxide layer can be enhanced using a process called anodising. A number of alloys, such as aluminium bronzes, exploit this property by including a proportion of aluminium in the alloy to enhance corrosion resistance. The aluminium oxide generated by anodising is typically amorphous, but discharge assisted oxidation processes such as plasma electrolytic oxidation result in a significant proportion of crystalline aluminium oxide in the coating, enhancing its hardness.

Aluminium oxide was taken off the United States Environmental Protection Agency's chemicals lists in 1988. Aluminium oxide is on the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory list if it is a fibrous form.[10]

Amphoteric nature

Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric substance, meaning it can react with both acids and bases, such as hydrofluoric acid and sodium hydroxide, acting as an acid with a base and a base with an acid, neutralising the other and producing a salt.

Al2O3 + 6 HF → 2 AlF3 + 3 H2O
Al2O3 + 2 NaOH + 3 H2O → 2 NaAl(OH)4 (sodium aluminate)


Corindon azulEZ
Corundum from Brazil, size about 2×3 cm.

The most common form of crystalline aluminium oxide is known as corundum, which is the thermodynamically stable form.[11] The oxygen ions form a nearly hexagonal close-packed structure with the aluminium ions filling two-thirds of the octahedral interstices. Each Al3+ center is octahedral. In terms of its crystallography, corundum adopts a trigonal Bravais lattice with a space group of R3c (number 167 in the International Tables). The primitive cell contains two formula units of aluminium oxide.

Aluminium oxide also exists in other, metastable, phases, including the cubic γ and η phases, the monoclinic θ phase, the hexagonal χ phase, the orthorhombic κ phase and the δ phase that can be tetragonal or orthorhombic.[11][12] Each has a unique crystal structure and properties. Cubic γ-Al2O3 has important technical applications. The so-called β-Al2O3 proved to be NaAl11O17.[13]

Molten aluminium oxide near the melting temperature is roughly 2/3 tetrahedral (i.e. 2/3 of the Al are surrounded by 4 oxygen neighbors), and 1/3 5-coordinated, with very little (<5%) octahedral Al-O present.[14] Around 80% of the oxygen atoms are shared among three or more Al-O polyhedra, and the majority of inter-polyhedral connections are corner-sharing, with the remaining 10–20% being edge-sharing.[14] The breakdown of octahedra upon melting is accompanied by a relatively large volume increase (~20%), the density of the liquid close to its melting point is 2.93 g/cm3.[15] The structure of molten alumina is temperature dependent and the fraction of 5- and 6-fold aluminium increases during cooling (and supercooling), at the expense of tetrahedral AlO4 units, approaching the local structural arrangements found in amorphous alumina.[16]


Aluminium hydroxide minerals are the main component of bauxite, the principal ore of aluminium. A mixture of the minerals comprise bauxite ore, including gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)), and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), along with impurities of iron oxides and hydroxides, quartz and clay minerals.[17] Bauxites are found in laterites. Bauxite is purified by the Bayer process:

Al2O3 + H2O + NaOH → NaAl(OH)4
Al(OH)3 + NaOH → NaAl(OH)4

Except for SiO2, the other components of bauxite do not dissolve in base. Upon filtering the basic mixture, Fe2O3 is removed. When the Bayer liquor is cooled, Al(OH)3 precipitates, leaving the silicates in solution.

NaAl(OH)4 → NaOH + Al(OH)3

The solid Al(OH)3 Gibbsite is then calcined (heated to over 1100 °C) to give aluminium oxide:[7]

2 Al(OH)3 → Al2O3 + 3 H2O

The product aluminium oxide tends to be multi-phase, i.e., consisting of several phases of aluminium oxide rather than solely corundum.[12] The production process can therefore be optimized to produce a tailored product. The type of phases present affects, for example, the solubility and pore structure of the aluminium oxide product which, in turn, affects the cost of aluminium production and pollution control.[12]


Known as alundum (in fused form) or aloxite[18] in the mining, ceramic, and materials science communities, aluminium oxide finds wide use. Annual world production of aluminium oxide in 2015 was approximately 115 million tonnes, over 90% of which is used in the manufacture of aluminium metal.[7] The major uses of speciality aluminium oxides are in refractories, ceramics, polishing and abrasive applications. Large tonnages of aluminium hydroxide, from which alumina is derived, are used in the manufacture of zeolites, coating titania pigments, and as a fire retardant/smoke suppressant.

Over 90% of the aluminium oxide, normally termed Smelter Grade Alumina (SGA), produced is consumed for the production of aluminium, usually by the Hall–Héroult process. The remainder, normally called speciality alumina is used in a wide variety of applications which reflect its inertness, temperature resistance and electrical resistance.[19]


Being fairly chemically inert and white, aluminium oxide is a favored filler for plastics. Aluminium oxide is a common ingredient in sunscreen and is sometimes also present in cosmetics such as blush, lipstick, and nail polish.


Many formulations of glass have aluminium oxide as an ingredient.[20]


Aluminium oxide catalyses a variety of reactions that are useful industrially. In its largest scale application, aluminium oxide is the catalyst in the Claus process for converting hydrogen sulfide waste gases into elemental sulfur in refineries. It is also useful for dehydration of alcohols to alkenes.

Aluminium oxide serves as a catalyst support for many industrial catalysts, such as those used in hydrodesulfurization and some Ziegler–Natta polymerizations.

Water purification

Aluminium oxide is widely used to remove water from gas streams.[21]


Aluminium oxide is used for its hardness and strength. It is widely used as an abrasive, including as a much less expensive substitute for industrial diamond. Many types of sandpaper use aluminium oxide crystals. In addition, its low heat retention and low specific heat make it widely used in grinding operations, particularly cutoff tools. As the powdery abrasive mineral aloxite, it is a major component, along with silica, of the cue tip "chalk" used in billiards. Aluminium oxide powder is used in some CD/DVD polishing and scratch-repair kits. Its polishing qualities are also behind its use in toothpaste. It is also used in microdermabrasion, both in the machine process available through dermatologists and estheticians, and as a manual dermal abrasive used according to manufacturer directions.


Aluminium oxide flakes are used in paint for reflective decorative effects, such as in the automotive or cosmetic industries.

Composite fiber

Aluminium oxide has been used in a few experimental and commercial fiber materials for high-performance applications (e.g., Fiber FP, Nextel 610, Nextel 720).[22] Alumina nanofibers in particular have become a research field of interest.

Body armor

Some body armors utilize alumina ceramic plates, usually in combination with aramid or UHMWPE backing to achieve effectiveness against even most rifle threats. Alumina ceramic armor is readily available to most civilians in jurisdictions where it is legal, but is not considered military grade.[23]

Abrasion protection

Aluminium oxide can be grown as a coating on aluminium by anodizing or by plasma electrolytic oxidation (see the "Properties" above). Both the hardness and abrasion-resistant characteristics of the coating originate from the high strength of aluminium oxide, yet the porous coating layer produced with conventional direct current anodizing procedures is within a 60-70 Rockwell hardness C range [24] which is comparable only to hardened carbon steel alloys, but considerably inferior to the hardness of natural and synthetic corundum. Instead, with plasma electrolytic oxidation, the coating is porous only on the surface oxide layer while the lower oxide layers are much more compact than with standard DC anodizing procedures and present a higher crystallinity due to the oxide layers being remelted and densified to obtain α-Al2O3 clusters[25] with much higher coating hardness values circa 2000 Vickers hardness.

Aluminium oxide output in 2005

Alumina is used to manufacture tiles which are attached inside pulverized fuel lines and flue gas ducting on coal fired power stations to protect high wear areas. They are not suitable for areas with high impact forces as these tiles are brittle and susceptible to breakage.

Electrical insulation

Aluminium oxide is an electrical insulator used as a substrate (silicon on sapphire) for integrated circuits but also as a tunnel barrier for the fabrication of superconducting devices such as single electron transistors and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs).

For its application as an electrical insulator in integrated circuits, where the conformal growth of a thin film is a prerequisite and the preferred growth mode is atomic layer deposition, Al2O3 films can be prepared by the chemical exchange between trimethylaluminum (Al(CH3)3) and H2O:[26]

2 Al(CH3)3 + 3 H2O → Al2O3 + 6 CH4

H2O in the above reaction can be replaced by ozone (O3) as the active oxidant and the following reaction then takes place:[27][28]

2 Al(CH3)3 + O3 → Al2O3 + 3 C2H6

The Al2O3 films prepared using O3 show 10–100 times lower leakage current density compared with those prepared by H2O.

Aluminum oxide, being a dielectric with relatively large band gap, is used as an insulating barrier in capacitors.[29]


In lighting, transparent aluminium oxide is used in some sodium vapor lamps.[30] Aluminium oxide is also used in preparation of coating suspensions in compact fluorescent lamps.

In chemistry laboratories, aluminium oxide is a medium for chromatography, available in basic (pH 9.5), acidic (pH 4.5 when in water) and neutral formulations.

Health and medical applications include it as a material in hip replacements[7] and birth control pills.[31]

It is used as a dosimeter for radiation protection and therapy applications for its optically stimulated luminescence properties.

Insulation for high-temperature furnaces is often manufactured from aluminium oxide. Sometimes the insulation has varying percentages of silica depending on the temperature rating of the material. The insulation can be made in blanket, board, brick and loose fiber forms for various application requirements.

Small pieces of aluminium oxide are often used as boiling chips in chemistry.

It is also used to make spark plug insulators.[32]

Using a plasma spray process and mixed with titania, it is coated onto the braking surface of some bicycle rims to provide abrasion and wear resistance.

Most ceramic eyes on fishing rods are circular rings made from aluminium oxide.

See also


  1. ^ "Aluminum oxide_msds".
  2. ^ a b Material Properties Data: Alumina (Aluminum Oxide) Archived 2010-04-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-04-17.
  3. ^ Patnaik, P. (2002). Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-049439-8.
  4. ^ Raymond C. Rowe; Paul J. Sheskey; Marian E. Quinn (2009). "Adipic acid". Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients. Pharmaceutical Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0-85369-792-3.
  5. ^ a b Zumdahl, Steven S. (2009). Chemical Principles 6th Ed. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-0-618-94690-7.
  6. ^ a b NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0021". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  7. ^ a b c d e "Alumina (Aluminium Oxide) – The Different Types of Commercially Available Grades". The A to Z of Materials. 3 May 2002. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  8. ^ Elam, J. W. (October 2010). Atomic Layer Deposition Applications 6. The Electrochemical Society. ISBN 9781566778213.
  9. ^ Campbell, Timothy; Kalia, Rajiv; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya; Ogata, Shuji; Rodgers, Stephen (1999). "Dynamics of Oxidation of Aluminium Nanoclusters using Variable Charge Molecular-Dynamics Simulations on Parallel Computers" (PDF). Physical Review Letters. 82 (24): 4866. Bibcode:1999PhRvL..82.4866C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.4866. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-07-01.
  10. ^ "EPCRA Section 313 Chemical List For Reporting Year 2006" (PDF). US EPA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  11. ^ a b I. Levin; D. Brandon (1998). "Metastable Alumina Polymorphs: Crystal Structures and Transition Sequences". Journal of the American Ceramic Society. 81 (8): 1995–2012. doi:10.1111/j.1151-2916.1998.tb02581.x.
  12. ^ a b c Paglia, G. (2004). "Determination of the Structure of γ-Alumina using Empirical and First Principles Calculations Combined with Supporting Experiments" (free download). Curtin University of Technology, Perth. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  13. ^ Wiberg, E.; Holleman, A. F. (2001). Inorganic Chemistry. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-12-352651-9.
  14. ^ a b Skinner, L.B.; et al. (2013). "Joint diffraction and modeling approach to the structure of liquid alumina". Phys. Rev. B. 87 (2): 024201. Bibcode:2013PhRvB..87b4201S. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.87.024201. Archived from the original on 2013-02-24.
  15. ^ Paradis, P.-F.; et al. (2004). "Non-Contact Thermophysical Property Measurements of Liquid and Undercooled Alumina". Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 43 (4): 1496–1500. Bibcode:2004JaJAP..43.1496P. doi:10.1143/JJAP.43.1496.
  16. ^ Shi, C; Alderman, O L G; Berman, D; Du, J; Neuefeind, J; Tamalonis, A; Weber, R; You, J; Benmore, C J (2019). "The structure of amorphous and deeply supercooled liquid alumina". Frontiers in Materials. 6 (38). doi:10.3389/fmats.2019.00038.
  17. ^ "Bauxite and Alumina Statistics and Information". USGS. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  18. ^ "Aloxite". database. Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  19. ^ Evans, K. A. (1993). "Properties and uses of aluminium oxides and aluminium hydroxides". In Downs, A. J. The Chemistry of Aluminium, Indium and Gallium. Blackie Academic. ISBN 978-0751401035.
  20. ^ Akers, Michael J. (2016-04-19). Sterile Drug Products: Formulation, Packaging, Manufacturing and Quality. CRC Press. ISBN 9781420020564.
  21. ^ Hudson, L. Keith; Misra, Chanakya; Perrotta, Anthony J.; Wefers, Karl and Williams, F. S. (2002) "Aluminum Oxide" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a01_557.
  22. ^ Mallick, P.K. (2008). Fiber-reinforced composites materials, manufacturing, and design (3rd ed., [expanded and rev. ed.] ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. Ch.2.1.7. ISBN 978-0-8493-4205-9.
  23. ^ "Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor" (PDF). US Department of Justice. NIJ. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  24. ^ Osborn, Joseph H. (2014). "understanding and specifying anodizing: what a manufacturer needs to know". OMW Corporation. Archived from the original on 2016-11-20. Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  25. ^ Li, Q; Liang, J; Wang, Q. "Modern Surface Engineering Treatments, chapter 4 Plasma Oxidation Coatings on Lightweight Metals" (PDF). INTECH 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04.
  26. ^ Higashi GS, Fleming (1989). "Sequential surface chemical reaction limited growth of high quality Al2O3 dielectrics". Appl. Phys. Lett. 55 (19): 1963–65. Bibcode:1989ApPhL..55.1963H. doi:10.1063/1.102337.
  27. ^ Kim JB; Kwon DR; Chakrabarti K; Lee Chongmu; Oh KY; Lee JH (2002). "Improvement in Al2O3 dielectric behavior by using ozone as an oxidant for the atomic layer deposition technique". J. Appl. Phys. 92 (11): 6739–42. Bibcode:2002JAP....92.6739K. doi:10.1063/1.1515951.
  28. ^ Kim, Jaebum; Chakrabarti, Kuntal; Lee, Jinho; Oh, Ki-Young; Lee, Chongmu (2003). "Effects of ozone as an oxygen source on the properties of the Al2O3 thin films prepared by atomic layer deposition". Mater Chem Phys. 78 (3): 733–38. doi:10.1016/S0254-0584(02)00375-9.
  29. ^ Belkin, A.; Bezryadin, A.; Hendren, L.; Hubler, A. (20 April 2017). "Recovery of Alumina Nanocapacitors after High Voltage Breakdown". Scientific Reports. 7 (1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01007-9.
  30. ^ "GE Innovation Timeline 1957–1970". Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  31. ^ "DailyMed - JUNEL FE 1/20- norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol, and ferrous fumarate". Archived from the original on 2017-03-13. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  32. ^ Farndon, John (2001). Aluminum. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 9780761409472. Archived from the original on 2017-12-04.

External links

Alumina Limited

Alumina Limited is a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. It was formed in 2003 in a demerger from Western Mining Corporation, and is one of the top 100 companies on the ASX (by market capitalization).

Alumina's only business activity is as the owner of a 40% share in a joint venture with Alcoa called Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC). AWAC's business is the mining of bauxite, the extraction of alumina (aluminium oxide) and the smelting of pure aluminium. It has about 17% of the global alumina market. Alcoa owns the remaining 60% of the business and acts as day-to-day manager.

In Australia, AWAC trades as Alcoa of Australia (AoA), which owns two bauxite mines and three refineries (to extract aluminium oxide from bauxite) in Western Australia and owns a smelter (to extract pure aluminium metal) and has a controlling interest in another in Victoria.

AWAC also has operations or interests in Texas, Suriname, Jamaica, Brazil, Spain, Guinea, and owns Alcoa Steamship.

Alumina's Chief Executive Officer is John Bevan and the board is chaired by Donald Morley.

Given that the management of Alumina's assets is performed entirely by other companies, their extensive governance structure and regular board meetings have attracted adverse comment. Internet publication Crikey describe Alumina's board as "corporate Australia's cosiest and most expensive lunch club".Alumina Limited formally delisted from the 'New York Stock Exchange', prior to the opening of trading in February 2014. This was because they were already in an American Stock Exchange (OTC Markets Group). Hence they were only present in the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Aluminium hydroxide

Aluminium hydroxide, Al(OH)3, is found in nature as the mineral gibbsite (also known as hydrargillite) and its three much rarer polymorphs: bayerite, doyleite, and nordstrandite. Aluminium hydroxide is amphoteric in nature, i.e., it has both basic and acidic properties. Closely related are aluminium oxide hydroxide, AlO(OH), and aluminium oxide or alumina (Al2O3), the latter of which is also amphoteric. These compounds together are the major components of the aluminium ore bauxite.

Aluminium hydroxide oxide

Aluminium hydroxide oxide or aluminium oxyhydroxide, AlO(OH) is found as one of two well defined crystalline phases, which are also known as the minerals boehmite and diaspore. The minerals are important constituents of the aluminium ore, bauxite.

Aluminium oxide nanoparticle

Nanosized aluminium oxide (nanosized alumina) occurs in the form of spherical or nearly spherical nanoparticles, and in the form of oriented or undirected fibers.

Aluminium oxides

Aluminium oxides or aluminum oxides are a group of inorganic compounds with formulas including aluminium (Al) and oxygen (O).

Aluminium(I) oxide (Al2O)

Aluminium(II) oxide (AlO) (aluminium monoxide)

Aluminium(III) oxide (aluminium oxide), (Al2O3), the most common form of aluminium oxide, occurring on the surface of aluminium and also in crystalline form as corundum, sapphire, and ruby.

Aluminium recycling

Aluminium recycling is the process by which scrap aluminium can be reused in products after its initial production. The process involves simply re-melting the metal, which is far less expensive and energy-intensive than creating new aluminium through the electrolysis of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), which must first be mined from bauxite ore and then refined using the Bayer process. Recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminium from the raw ore. For this reason, approximately 36% of all aluminium produced in the United States comes from old recycled scrap. Used beverage containers are the largest component of processed aluminum scrap, and most of it is manufactured back into aluminium cans.

Bayer process

The Bayer process is the principal industrial means of refining bauxite to produce alumina (aluminium oxide). Bauxite, the most important ore of aluminium, contains only 30–60% aluminium oxide (Al2O3), the rest being a mixture of silica, various iron oxides, and titanium dioxide. The aluminium oxide must be purified before it can be refined to aluminium metal.


Boehmite or böhmite is an aluminium oxide hydroxide (γ-AlO(OH)) mineral, a component of the aluminium ore bauxite. It is dimorphous with diaspore. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic dipyramidal system and is typically massive in habit. It is white with tints of yellow, green, brown or red due to impurities. It has a vitreous to pearly luster, a Mohs hardness of 3 to 3.5 and a specific gravity of 3.00 to 3.07. It is colorless in thin section, optically biaxial positive with refractive indices of nα = 1.644 - 1.648, nβ = 1.654 - 1.657 and nγ = 1.661 - 1.668.

Boehmite occurs in tropical laterites and bauxites developed on alumino-silicate bedrock. It also occurs as a hydrothermal alteration product of corundum and nepheline. It occurs with kaolinite, gibbsite and diaspore in bauxite deposits; and with nepheline, gibbsite, diaspore, natrolite and analcime in nepheline pegmatites. Industrially, it is used as an inexpensive flame retardant additive for fire-safe polymers.

It was first described by J. de Lapparent in 1927 for an occurrence in the bauxites of Mas Rouge, Les Baux-de-Provence, France, and named for the Bohemian-German chemist Johann Böhm (1895–1952) who carried out X-ray studies of aluminium oxide hydroxides in 1925 (and not for the German geologist Johannes Böhm (1857–1938) as often stated).


The mineral or gemstone chrysoberyl is an aluminate of beryllium with the formula BeAl2O4. The name chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek words χρυσός chrysos and βήρυλλος beryllos, meaning "a gold-white spar". Despite the similarity of their names, chrysoberyl and beryl are two completely different gemstones, although they both contain beryllium. Chrysoberyl is the third-hardest frequently encountered natural gemstone and lies at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, between corundum (9) and topaz (8).An interesting feature of its crystals are the cyclic twins called trillings. These twinned crystals have a hexagonal appearance, but are the result of a triplet of twins with each "twin" oriented at 120° to its neighbors and taking up 120° of the cyclic trilling. If only two of the three possible twin orientations are present, a "V"-shaped twin results.

Ordinary chrysoberyl is yellowish-green and transparent to translucent. When the mineral exhibits good pale green to yellow color and is transparent, then it is used as a gemstone. The three main varieties of chrysoberyl are: ordinary yellow-to-green chrysoberyl, cat's eye or cymophane, and alexandrite. Yellow-green chrysoberyl was referred to as "chrysolite" during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which caused confusion since that name has also been used for the mineral olivine ("peridot" as a gemstone); that name is no longer used in the gemological nomenclature.

Alexandrite, a strongly pleochroic (trichroic) gem, will exhibit emerald green, red and orange-yellow colors depending on viewing direction in partially polarised light. However, its most distinctive property is that it also changes color in artificial (tungsten/halogen) light compared to daylight. The color change from red to green is due to strong absorption of light in a narrow yellow portion of the spectrum, while allowing large bands of more blue-green and red wavelengths to be transmitted. Which of these prevails to give the perceived hue depends on the spectral balance of the illumination. Fine-quality alexandrite has a green to bluish-green color in daylight (relatively blue illumination of high color temperature), changing to a red to purplish-red color in incandescent light (relatively yellow illumination). However, fine-color material is extremely rare. Less-desirable stones may have daylight colors of yellowish-green and incandescent colors of brownish red.Cymophane is popularly known as "cat's eye". This variety exhibits pleasing chatoyancy or opalescence that reminds one of the eye of a cat. When cut to produce a cabochon, the mineral forms a light-green specimen with a silky band of light extending across the surface of the stone.


Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) typically containing traces of iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium. It is a rock-forming mineral. It is also a naturally transparent material, but can have different colors depending on the presence of transition metal impurities in its crystalline structure. Corundum has two primary gem varieties: ruby and sapphire. Rubies are red due to the presence of chromium, and sapphires exhibit a range of colors depending on what transition metal is present. A rare type of sapphire, padparadscha sapphire, is pink-orange.

The name "corundum" is derived from the Tamil word Kurundam, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit Kuruvinda.Because of corundum's hardness (pure corundum is defined to have 9.0 on the Mohs scale), it can scratch almost every other mineral. It is commonly used as an abrasive on everything from sandpaper to large tools used in machining metals, plastics, and wood. Some emery is a mix of corundum and other substances, and the mix is less abrasive, with an average Mohs hardness of 8.0.

In addition to its hardness, corundum has a density of 4.02 g/cm3 (0.145 lb/cu in), which is unusually high for a transparent mineral composed of the low-atomic mass elements aluminium and oxygen.


Cryolite (Na3AlF6, sodium hexafluoroaluminate) is an uncommon mineral identified with the once large deposit at Ivigtût on the west coast of Greenland, depleted by 1987.

It was historically used as an ore of aluminium and later in the electrolytic processing of the aluminium-rich oxide ore bauxite (itself a combination of aluminium oxide minerals such as gibbsite, boehmite and diaspore). The difficulty of separating aluminium from oxygen in the oxide ores was overcome by the use of cryolite as a flux to dissolve the oxide mineral(s). Pure cryolite itself melts at 1012 °C (1285 K), and it can dissolve the aluminium oxides sufficiently well to allow easy extraction of the aluminium by electrolysis. Substantial energy is still needed for both heating the materials and the electrolysis, but it is much more energy-efficient than melting the oxides themselves. As natural cryolite is too rare to be used for this purpose, synthetic sodium aluminium fluoride is produced from the common mineral fluorite.

Cryolite occurs as glassy, colorless, white-reddish to gray-black prismatic monoclinic crystals. It has a Mohs hardness of 2.5 to 3 and a specific gravity of about 2.95 to 3.0. It is translucent to transparent with a very low refractive index of about 1.34, which is very close to that of water; thus if immersed in water, cryolite becomes essentially invisible.Cryolite has also been reported at Pikes Peak, Colorado; Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec; and at Miass, Russia. It is also known in small quantities in Brazil, the Czech Republic, Namibia, Norway, Ukraine, and several U.S. states.

Cryolite was first described in 1798 by Danish veterinarian and physician Peder Christian Abildgaard (1740-1801); it was obtained from a deposit of it in Ivigtut and nearby Arsuk Fjord, Southwest Greenland. The name is derived from the Greek language words κρυος (cryos) = ice, and λιθος (lithos) = stone. The Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company used large amounts of cryolite to make caustic soda at its Natrona, Pennsylvania works during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Due to its rarity it is possibly the only mineral on Earth ever to be mined to commercial extinction.


Inceptisols are a soil order in USDA soil taxonomy. They form quickly through alteration of parent material. They are more developed than Entisols. They have no accumulation of clays, iron oxide, aluminium oxide or organic matter. They have an ochric or umbric horizon and a cambic subsurface horizon.

In the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), most Inceptisols are Cambisols or Umbrisols. Some may be Nitisols. Many Aquepts belong to Gleysols and Stagnosols.

List of countries by aluminium oxide production

Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric oxide of aluminium with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is also commonly referred to as alumina or aloxite in the mining, ceramic and materials science communities. It is produced by the Bayer process from bauxite. Its most significant use is in the production of aluminium metal, although it is also used as an abrasive due to its hardness and as a refractory material due to its high melting point.

Peraluminous rock

Peraluminous rocks are igneous rocks that have a molecular proportion of aluminium oxide higher than the combination of sodium oxide, potassium oxide and calcium oxide. This contrasts with peralkaline in which the alkalis are higher, metaluminous where aluminium oxide concentration is lower than the combination, but above the alkalis, and subaluminous in which aluminia concentration is lower than the combination. Examples of peraluminous minerals include biotite, muscovite, cordierite, andalusite and garnet.

Peraluminous corresponds to the aluminum saturation index values greater than 1.Peralumneous magmas can form S-type granitoids and have been linked to collisional orogenies and to the formation of tin, tungsten and silver deposits such as those in the Bolivian tin belt.

Plate glass

Plate glass, flat glass or sheet glass is a type of glass, initially produced in plane form, commonly used for windows, glass doors, transparent walls, and windscreens. For modern architectural and automotive applications, the flat glass is sometimes bent after production of the plane sheet. Flat glass stands in contrast to container glass (used for bottles, jars, cups) and glass fibre (used for thermal insulation, in fibreglass composites, and optical communication).

Flat glass has a higher magnesium oxide and sodium oxide content than container glass, and a lower silica, calcium oxide, and aluminium oxide content. (From the lower soluble oxide content comes the better chemical durability of container glass against water, which is required especially for storage of beverages and food).

Most flat glass is soda–lime glass, produced by the float glass process. Other processes for making flat glass include:

Rolling (rolled plate glass, figure rolled glass)

Overflow downdraw method

Blown plate method

Broad sheet method

Window crown glass technique

Cylinder blown sheet method

Fourcault process

Machine drawn cylinder sheet method

Plate polishing


Sandpaper and glasspaper are names used for a type of coated abrasive that consists of sheets of paper or cloth with abrasive material glued to one face.

Despite the use of the names neither sand nor glass are now used in the manufacture of these products as they have been replaced by other abrasives such as aluminium oxide or silicon carbide. Sandpaper is produced in a range of grit sizes and is used to remove material from surfaces, either to make them smoother (for example, in painting and wood finishing), to remove a layer of material (such as old paint), or sometimes to make the surface rougher (for example, as a preparation for gluing). It is common to use the name of the abrasive when describing the paper, e.g. "aluminium oxide paper", or "silicon carbide paper".

The grit size of sandpaper is usually stated as a number that is inversely related to the particle size. A small number such as 20 or 40 indicates a coarse grit, while a large number such as 1500 indicates a fine grit.

Soda–lime glass

Soda–lime glass, also called soda–lime–silica glass, is the most prevalent type of glass, used for windowpanes and glass containers (bottles and jars) for beverages, food, and some commodity items. Glass bakeware is often made of borosilicate glass. Soda–lime glass accounts for about 90% of manufactured glass.Soda–lime glass is relatively inexpensive, chemically stable, reasonably hard, and extremely workable. Because it can be resoftened and remelted numerous times, it is ideal for glass recycling. It is used in preference to chemically-pure silica, which is silicon dioxide (SiO2), otherwise known as fused quartz. Whereas pure silica has excellent resistance to thermal shock, being able to survive immersion in water while red hot, its high melting temperature (1723 °C) and viscosity make it difficult to work with. Other substances are therefore added to simplify processing. One is the "soda", or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), which lowers the glass-transition temperature. However, the soda makes the glass water-soluble, which is usually undesirable. To provide for better chemical durability, the "lime" is also added. This is calcium oxide (CaO), generally obtained from limestone. In addition, magnesium oxide (MgO) and alumina, which is aluminium oxide (Al2O3), contribute to the durability. The resulting glass contains about 70 to 74% silica by weight.

The manufacturing process for soda–lime glass consists in melting the raw materials, which are the silica, soda, lime (in the form of (Ca(OH)2), dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2, which provides the magnesium oxide), and aluminium oxide; along with small quantities of fining agents (e.g., sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), sodium chloride (NaCl), etc.) in a glass furnace at temperatures locally up to 1675 °C. The temperature is only limited by the quality of the furnace structure material and by the glass composition. Relatively inexpensive minerals such as trona, sand, and feldspar are usually used instead of pure chemicals. Green and brown bottles are obtained from raw materials containing iron oxide. The mix of raw materials is termed batch.

Soda–lime glass is divided technically into glass used for windows, called flat glass, and glass for containers, called container glass. The two types differ in the application, production method (float process for windows, blowing and pressing for containers), and chemical composition. Flat glass has a higher magnesium oxide and sodium oxide content than container glass, and a lower silica, calcium oxide, and aluminium oxide content. From the lower content of highly water-soluble ions (sodium and magnesium) in container glass comes its slightly higher chemical durability against water, which is required especially for storage of beverages and food.

Sodium aluminate

Sodium aluminate is an inorganic chemical that is used as an effective source of aluminium hydroxide for many industrial and technical applications. Pure sodium aluminate (anhydrous) is a white crystalline solid having a formula variously given as NaAlO2, NaAl(OH)4 (hydrated), Na2O·Al2O3, or Na2Al2O4. Commercial sodium aluminate is available as a solution or a solid.

Other related compounds, sometimes called sodium aluminate, prepared by reaction of Na2O and Al2O3 are Na5AlO4 which contains discrete AlO45− anions, Na7Al3O8 and Na17Al5O16 which contain complex polymeric anions, and NaAl11O17, once mistakenly believed to be β-alumina, a phase of aluminium oxide.


Spinel ( ) is the magnesium aluminium member of the larger spinel group of minerals. It has the formula MgAl2O4 in the cubic crystal system. Its name comes from Latin "spina" (arrow).Though spinels are often referred to as rubies, as in the Black Prince Ruby, the ruby is not a spinel. Balas ruby is an old name for a rose-tinted variety of spinel.

Aluminium compounds
Mixed oxidation states
+1 oxidation state
+2 oxidation state
+3 oxidation state
+4 oxidation state
+5 oxidation state
+6 oxidation state
+7 oxidation state
+8 oxidation state

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.