How Do Aluminum Particles Stabilise?

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Aluminum is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon, making up about 9 percent of the Earth’s crust. It is found in soil and water and is released into the air by natural weathering of rocks. It is a common metal in everyday products such as pots, pans, and storage containers for food, as well as foil and tin cans. It is also a common ingredient in deodorants and other personal care products.

It’s true that high-level, long-term exposure to aluminum has been linked to dementia and impaired neural function. However, this only happens when the kidneys stop working and dietary aluminum builds up in the body. It has never been shown to be caused by routine, dietary exposure in healthy people.

The aluminum atom has three outer electrons, which usually form covalent bonds with other atoms to create crystalline compounds such as aluminium fluoride and aluminum chloride. But at high temperatures, these molecules release the bare aluminum ion, Al3+. This is a much more reactive ion than the stable octahedral ion Al2+. The ions are chemically unstable, but they can be stabilized in aqueous solution by hydration to form the octahedral structure (Al(H2O)6).

At elevated temperatures, the octahedral crystals break down into a mixture of amorphous and crystalline phases. The XRD patterns of the quenched and burnt particles showed that the aluminium was in the form of amorphous particles and of a few non-stoichiometric oxycarbides. The amorphous and oxycarbide phases were chemically more stable than the metallic aluminium at both temperatures, but the mechanism by which these atomic species are stabilised remains unclear.