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Discovery of Aluminum
Aluminium (or aluminum; see spelling differences) is a chemical element in the boron group with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery white, soft, ductile metal. Aluminium is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon), and the most abundant metal, in the Earth's crust. It makes up about 8% by weight of the Earth's solid surface. Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Two variants of the metal's name are in current use, aluminium and aluminum (besides the obsolete alumium). The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) adopted aluminium as the standard international name for the element in 1990 but, three years later, recognized aluminum as an acceptable variant. Hence their periodic table includes both. IUPAC prefers the use of aluminium in its internal publications, although nearly as many IUPAC publications use the spelling aluminum. Aluminium has been known by everyone, but do you know how Aluminum was discoved by human, let's see the following information from Dr. Doug Stewart. People have used alum since ancient times for dyeing, tanning and to stop bleeding. Alum is potassium aluminum sulfate. In the 1750s German chemist Andreas Marggraf found he could use an alkali solution to precipitate a new substance from alum. Marggraf had previously been the first person to isolate zinc in 1746. The substance Marggraf obtained from alum was named alumina by French chemist Louis de Morveau in 1760. We now know that alumina is aluminum oxide chemical formula Al2O3. De Morveau believed alumina contained a new metallic element, but, like Marggraf, he was unable to extract this metal from its oxide. In 1807 or 1808, English chemist Humphry Davy decomposed alumina in an electric arc to obtain a metal. The metal was not pure aluminum, but an alloy of aluminum and iron. Davy called the new metal alumium, then renamed it aluminum. Aluminum was first isolated in 1825 by Hans Christian rsted (Oersted) in Copenhagen, Denmark who reported, a lump of metal which in color and luster somewhat resembles tin.

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rsted produced aluminum by reducing aluminum chloride using a potassium-mercury amalgam. The mercury was removed by heating to leave aluminum. German chemist Friedrich Whler (Woehler) repeated rsteds experiment but found it yielded only potassium metal. Whler developed the method further two years later, reacting volatalized aluminum trichloride with potassium to produce small amounts of aluminum. In 1856 Berzelius stated that it was Whler who had succeeded in 1827. Whler is therefore usually given credit for the discovery. More recently, Fogh repeated the original experiments and has shown that rsteds method can give satisfactory results. This has strengthened the priority of rsteds original work and his position as discoverer of aluminum. For almost three decades, aluminum remained a novelty, expensive to produce and more valuable than gold, until in 1854 Henri Saint-Claire Deville in Paris, France found a way of replacing potassium with much cheaper sodium in the reaction to isolate aluminum. Aluminum then became more popular but, because it was still quite expensive, was used in ornamental rather than practical situations. Finally, in 1886 American chemist Charles Martin Hall and French chemist Paul Hroult independently invented the Hall-Hroult process, which inexpensively isolates aluminum metal from its oxide electrolytically. Aluminum is still manufactured using the Hall-Hroult process today.