What Is Bauxite Ore
The primary source of aluminum is bauxite ore. Crushing the bauxite and purifying it with the Bayer Process are the first steps in the production of aluminum. In the Bayer Process, the bauxite ore is washed in a hot sodium hydroxide solution, which causes the bauxite to leach aluminum. Aluminum hydroxide, which contains aluminum, precipitates out of the solution. The next step is to calcine the aluminum hydroxide to create alumina.
Mining bauxite ore, processing the ore to obtain alumina, and smelting alumina are the three basic steps in the production of aluminum. Although other raw minerals are extracted as aluminum ore, bauxite is the primary usage of these commodities.
While bauxites sometimes seem to be reworked chemical precipitates rather than simple alteration products, clay minerals frequently reflect intermediate steps. Bauxite ore can grade laterally or vertically into laterite or clay.
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