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Y12 Electrolysis: Extraction of Aluminium in the Hall-Heroult Cell.

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Published on May 11, 2011

The cell is illustrated and the process demonstrated using simple paper models. The chemical extraction of Alumina (Al2O3) from Bauxite is also considered very briefly.
Aluminium was first extracted in the middle of the 19th Century. Then it was obtained directly from molten alumina. Due to the very high mp of alumina and the huge cost of generating electricity at that time, aluminium was more expensive than gold. By the early part of the 20th Century, with the development of much a cheaper means of generating electricity and Hall's discovery/invention, aluminium had become relatively cheap.

Frank Scullion
Production and Recording: Frank Scullion

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