Aluminium production starts with the raw material bauxite, a clay like soil type found in a belt around the equator. The bauxite is mined from a few meters below the ground.
The bauxite is then transported to plants where the clay is washed off and the bauxite passes through a grinder.
Alumina, or aluminium oxide, is extracted from the bauxite through refining.
Alumina is separated from the bauxite by using a hot solution of caustic soda and lime.
The mixture is heated and filtered, and the remaining alumina is dried to a white powder.
Next stop is the metal plant. Here, the refined alumina is transformed into aluminium.
Three different raw materials are needed to make aluminium, aluminium oxide, electricity and carbon.
Electricity is run between a negative cathode and a positive anode, both made of carbon. The anode reacts with the oxygen in the alumina and forms CO2.The result is liquid aluminium, which can now be tapped from the cells.
Aluminium is very ductile. Foil can be rolled from 60 cm to 2-6 mm, and final foil product can be as thin
as 0.006 mm. It still will not let light, aroma or taste in or out.
Sheet ingots are used to make rolled products, such as plates, strip and foil.
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