Chemical Reaction to pulverize Aluminum?

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  • #1
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I'm trying to think of a way to take a piece of aluminum foil and chemical separate the atoms 1 by 1.

I was originally thinking of trying some sort of Electrolysis type reaction by turning the Aluminum into Aluminum Oxide... though I'm still searching for the chemical reaction/method to remove the oxide from the aluminum, resulting the Oxygen and Aluminum to split, therefor aluminum powder.

I know reversal of rust is possible with electrolysis but I'm not sure on the chemical reactions that take place.


Is there any chemical way of atomizing/pulverizing Aluminum or any other metals without grinding them?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
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Google for methods of nanoparticles production. No idea if you will find something about aluminum, but there are some general approaches that work for many other substances.
 
  • #3
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Will look into it. I'm not specifically looking for nano particle dust... just fine dust... I've seen people grind it in blenders from Aluminum Foil but many times they report that it clogged and broke the blender.. which I would rather not do :P.

Any potential non-chemical(that wont break the blender :P) methods for pulverizing Foil are welcome also :).
 
  • #4
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individual aluminum atoms could never work. There is always a layer of aluminum oxide that is a couple atoms think surrounding it. If you want powdered aluminum, your best bet is a ball mill. Thats really the only practical way of doing it. Aluminum oxide is not gonna want to go back to aluminum. The temperatures that would be generated from electrolysis would melt it anyway. Chemical means would melt it. I've done so much research. A ball mill is the only way to go. If you do decide to go with the ball mill, put a tablespoon of charcoal powder in with it. It coats the aluminum and prevents the oxide layer from forming.
 
  • #5
Borek
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There is always a layer of aluminum oxide that is a couple atoms think surrounding it.

To some extent - yes. Unless you keep the aluminum in a dry, inert atmosphere (not an easy task).

Aluminum oxide is not gonna want to go back to aluminum.

Huh? Just a moment ago you wrote Al is always covered with oxides, now you write oxide doesn't want to cover Al?

The temperatures that would be generated from electrolysis would melt it anyway. Chemical means would melt it.

What would melt what? Metal? That requires 660 deg C, not a temperature that you see every day. Oxide? That requires several thousands of deg C, even less likely to obtain.

If you do decide to go with the ball mill, put a tablespoon of charcoal powder in with it. It coats the aluminum and prevents the oxide layer from forming.

I doubt, as long as there is oxygen present, aluminum will get oxidized immediately.
 
  • #6
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I meant that Aluminum oxide is not gonna want to give up its oxygen and turn back into aluminum metal. It would require a lot of energy. The amount of energy required would melt the aluminum so chemical means would just fuse the aluminum together. Same with electrolysis.
 
  • #7
Borek
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OK, I understand what you meant. But your conclusion is wrong. Technically speaking it should be possible to reduce aluminum oxide without melting aluminum, amount of energy doesn't determine temperature in which process takes place. It happens that best processes we know for aluminum reduction do require high temperatures, but for reasons other than amount of energy involved.
 

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