Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aluminum APEX Mineral

Aluminum (Al #13) is the next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection.  
Wikipedia Aluminum
Aluminum Minerals - There are many 
Aluminum minerals.  
Corundum is the best APEX mineral by far.  It is 53% Aluminum.  Strangely, despite the light density of Aluminum, the Corundum crystal is very densely packed and noticeably heavy.
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earths crust and is about 8% by weight.  It never exists in pure form since it is so reactive with other elements.  Before 1900, pure Aluminium was so difficult to produce that it was more valuable than Gold!
The most common mineral on Earth is Feldspar (Aluminum and Silicon).   Bauxite is more practical for Aluminum production and consumes vast amounts of energy (5% of all USA energy).  Most Aluminum factories are near very cheap energy sources (Hydro/Geo).
Aluminium salts have been used as astringents (styptic pencil) for dressing wounds since ancient Greece.
Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal.  Aluminum is almost always alloyed, which markedly improves its mechanical properties.  Even Aluminum cans are only 92% Aluminum.  
Aluminum has no known function in biology. It is remarkably nontoxic.