Starch, lime, and sodium sulphide are some examples.
Cryolite, a chemical compound composed of sodium, aluminum, and fluorine, is used as the electrolyte (current-conducting medium) in the smelting operation.
Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is used to dissolve the aluminum compounds found in the bauxite, separating them from the impurities.
Depending on the composition of the bauxite ore, relatively small amounts of other chemicals may be used in the extraction of aluminum.
Naturally occurring cryolite was once mined in Greenland, but the compound is now produced synthetically for use in the production of aluminum.
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Aluminum fluoride is added to lower the melting point of the electrolyte solution.
Bauxite consists of 45-60% aluminum oxide, along with various impurities such as sand, iron, and other metals.
Although some bauxite deposits are hard rock, most consist of relatively soft dirt that is easily dug from open-pit mines.
The metallic element aluminum is the third most plentiful element in the earth's crust, comprising 8% of the planet's soil and rocks (oxygen and silicon make up 47% and 28%, respectively).
In nature, aluminum is found only in chemical compounds with other elements such as sulphur, silicon, and oxygen.