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  1. #1
    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    Question Chemistry - Separating Aluminum Oxide From Impure Aluminum Chloride

    For a long time I have I've had a large amount of dry & impure aluminum chloride sitting around as a biproduct of silver recovery.
    I thought it would be a fun learning experience to attempt to recover pure aluminum metal from my buckets full of AlCl3, and if that worked well enough, I would attempt to extract pure aluminum from the local clay which is rich in aluminum. ( I am very aware this is not profitable and dangerous )

    I am not a chemist, and for several years now I have been looking for a > simplified < answer on how I can accomplish my goals chemically.

    I think I've finally found an answer, but I would appreciate it if someone who knows what they are doing can correct mistakes or maybe streamline the process.
    This is part of an article I found:
    The most promising of several acid processes investigated appears to be HCl leaching of the clay followed by crystallization of AlCl36H20 by sparging with HCl gas. To obtain Al2O3 by this process, calcined clay is leached with 26-pct-HCl, a solid-liquid separation is made, and the liquor is treated by solvent extraction to remove iron. The purified leach liquor is evaporated to increase its AlCl3 concentration and AlCl36H2O is crystallized by the injection of HCl gas, since AlCl36H2O is practically insoluble in strong HCl. The crystals are calcined to Al2O3, and HCl is recovered from the offgases. The mother liquor is heated to recover some HCl as gas; it is then adjusted to the proper acid concentration and returned to leaching.
    .
    From my understanding of this, I can force pure aluminum to crystalize by bubbling hydrogen chloride gas through the concentrated hydrochloric acid mixture containing the aluminum chloride.
    I am not sure about the process of removing iron by "solvent extraction", but at this point I would not mind the iron impurity for my first couple experiments.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.



  2. #2
    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    If what I am reading is correct, oxalic acid is commonly used to leach out iron.

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    Sorry I cannot help. I failed chemistry in high school.
    Give back more to this world than we take.

  4. #4
    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    I have found an old government article about extracting aluminum from clay ( aluminum silicate ). Research Paper RP1756 .
    Interesting read if anyone is interested: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jr...n6p409_A1b.pdf
    Last edited by RLS0812; 02-27-2022 at 06:45 PM.

  5. #5
    RLS0812 started this thread.
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    A small update in my research:
    1: oxalic acid is commonly used to leach iron out of clay - the process is very simple and can be done during the last step of purifying raw clay
    2: hydrogen chloride is very expensive and dangerous - for someone like myself who is not very knowledgeable in chemistry, it would be a very bad idea if I attempted to produce this gas myself. From what I have been reading, I may be able to achieve a similar effect by using 20% hydrogen peroxide in the hydrochloric acid solution containing the aluminum chloride .
    Last edited by RLS0812; 04-03-2022 at 08:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    Sound like a whole lot of unproductive, dangerous work. Exert your efforts on something safer and more rewarding.

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    Explosion characteristics of aluminum powder in different mixed gas environments


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