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Energy

What is Bauxite?

Many people are surprised to learn that bauxite is not a mineral. It is a rock composed mainly of aluminum-bearing minerals. It forms when laterite soils are severely leached of silica and other soluble materials in a wet tropical or subtropical climate.

Bauxite is the primary ore of aluminum. Almost all of the aluminum that has ever been produced has been extracted from bauxite. The United States has a few small bauxite deposits but at least 99% of the bauxite used in the United States is imported. The United States is also a major importer of aluminum metal.

Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. It is the world's main source of aluminium. Bauxite consists mostly of the aluminium minerals gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)) and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), mixed with the two iron oxides goethite (FeO(OH)) and haematite (Fe2O3), the aluminium clay mineral kaolinite (Al2Si2O5(OH)) and small amounts of anatase (TiO2) and ilmenite (FeTiO3 or FeO.TiO2).[1]

In 1821 the French geologist Pierre Berthier discovered bauxite near the village of Les Baux in Provence, southern France.

 

 Other product of Bauxite is Alumina. 

 

Alumina

Alumina, also called aluminum oxide, synthetically produced aluminum oxide, Al2O3, a white or nearly colourless crystalline substance that is used as a starting material for the smelting of aluminum metal. It also serves as the raw material for a broad range of advanced ceramic products and as an active agent in chemical processing.

Alumina is made from bauxite, a naturally occurring ore containing variable amounts of hydrous (water-containing) aluminum oxides. Free Al2O3 occurs in nature as the mineral corundum and its gemstone forms, sapphire and ruby; these can be produced synthetically from alumina and in fact are occasionally referred to as alumina, but the term is more properly limited to the material employed in aluminum metallurgy, industrial ceramics, and chemical processing.