Concept

Bayer process

Summary
The Bayer process is the principal industrial means of refining bauxite to produce alumina (aluminium oxide) and was developed by Carl Josef Bayer. Bauxite, the most important ore of aluminium, contains only 30–60% aluminium oxide (Al2O3), the rest being a mixture of silica, various iron oxides, and titanium dioxide. The aluminium oxide must be further purified before it can be refined into aluminium metal. The Bayer process is also the main source of gallium as a byproduct despite low extraction yields. Process Bauxite ore is a mixture of hydrated aluminium oxides and compounds of other elements such as iron. The aluminium compounds in the bauxite may be present as gibbsite (Al(OH)3), böhmite (γ-AlO(OH)) or diaspore (α-AlO(OH)); the different forms of the aluminium component and the impurities dictate the extraction conditions. Aluminium oxides and hydroxides are amphoteric, meaning that they are both acidic and basic. The solubility of Al(III) in water is very low
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