Aluminum: The 13th Element on the Periodic Table Essay

Published: 2019-10-19 01:00:20
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One of the many elements on the periodic table is Aluminum. Aluminum is the 13th element, and it is located in period two and group thirteen. Aluminums symbol is Al and it has an electron configuration of [Ne] 3s2 3p1. Aluminum also has an atomic mass of 26.982 and its atomic number is 13. This element was discovered by Hans Christian Oersted in the year of 1825, and was named by the English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (Helmenstine, 2012). Its name Aluminum came from the Latin words alumen or alum, which is an astringent and dyeing mordant. Originally, Davy called it Alumium but the publishers later changed it to Aluminum, and thats how it remains in the United States (N/A, n.d.). Aluminum is a tin-white metal which melts at 640°C and boils at 2,327-2,450°C (N/A, 2012). It is very light and has a density of 2.68g. It is both ductile and malleable, making it stiff and strong, and with frequent annealing it can be rolled into thin foil (N/A, 1996-2012).

It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and it is a solid in its standard state. One of Aluminums chemical properties is that in moist air, it combines slowly with oxygen to form aluminum oxide. The aluminum oxide forms a very thin, whitish coating on the aluminum metal (N/A, n.d.). This element is also a fairly active metal. It reacts with many hot acids and with alkalis. Aluminum also reacts quickly with hot water, and in powdered form, it catches fire quickly when exposed to a flame (N/A, 1996-2012). Back then, the Ancient Greeks and Romans used alum as an astringent, for medicinal purposes, and as a mordant in dyeing (N/A, 2012).

Today, it is used in kitchen utensils, exterior decorations, and thousands of industrial applications. The uses of the element can vary from being kitchen foil, to being used to create planes and trains. Aluminum is also used in electrical transmission lines because of its light weight, and its alloys are used in the construction of aircraft and rockets (Helmenstine, 2012). Aluminum is also used to make compounds, and some of the many are Aluminum Chloride, Aluminum Hydroxide, and Aluminum Phosphate. Lastly, something very interesting and unique about Aluminum is that it is the most abundant metal in the Earths crust (8.1%), although it is not found free in nature (N/A, 2012).

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