MYP 10

10.2.3: Industrial extraction of aluminium

E-assessement - B1: Periodic Table:

  • extraction of metals
  • electrochemical cells


  • Understand that redox reactions can produce electricity
  • Know the difference between voltage and current in electrical circuits
  • To build a simple electrochemical cell using two half-cells.
  • To know that an external potential difference can drive a redox reaction in reverse
  • To know the extraction of aluminium and reactive metals
  • To appreciate the ubiquitous nature of rechargeable and disposible power sources.

Activity - Class demonstration

The red mud sgs

Discussion of the importance of aluminium in modern society. It makes up 8.1% of the earth's crust and is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon (by mass).

Hans Christian Oersted from Denmark successfully extracted impure aluminium in 1825.

Hans Christian's work was continued by Friedrich Woehler, a German chemist, who set about working from 30 grams of aluminium powder in October 22, 1827.

It took another 18 years of continuous experimentation for Friedrich to create small balls of solidified molten aluminium (globules) in 1845.*

The modern industrial process

There are two main stages in the industrial extraction:

  • 1. Bayer process
  • 2. Heroult- Hall process

Extraction of aluminium sgs


Aluminium production

Student activity

Make a flow chart to show the journey from rock to an aluminium engine component.

Include all relevant chemical equations.

Research the environmental impact of aluminium manufacture.

One World Essay (700 - 1200 words) on aluminium.



Electrolysis is kid's stuff


Recycling aluminium


Criterion D

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