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The earliest citation given in the Oxford English Dictionary for any word used as a name for this element is alumium, which British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy employed in 1808 for the metal he was trying to isolate electrolytically from the mineral alumina.
Davy settled on aluminum by the time he published his 1812 book Chemical Philosophy: "This substance appears to contain a peculiar metal, but as yet Aluminum has not been obtained in a perfectly free state, though alloys of it with other metalline substances have been procured sufficiently distinct to indicate the probable nature of alumina." But the same year, an anonymous contributor to the Quarterly Review, a British political-literary journal, in a review of Davy's book, objected to aluminum and proposed the name aluminium, "for so we shall take the liberty of writing the word, in preference to aluminum, which has a less classical sound."
Minerals; Inorganic; Column Three
Description of the substance
can exist with varying proportions of water, the common form being Al2(SO4)3•18H2O. It is almost insoluble in anhydrous alcohol, but readily soluble in water. Above 770°C decomposition to aluminium oxide is observed. Aluminium sulfate is mainly used in water treatment, dyeing, leather tanning and in the production of other aluminium compounds. Aluminum Sulfate (Alum) is a white crystalline product which is almost insoluble in anhydrous alcohol, but readily soluble in water. It decomposes to aluminium oxide on heating or on burning (above 770°C) producing toxic and corrosive fumes including sulfur oxides. Its can exist with a variable number of water molecules (n close to 18), the form being Al2(SO4)3•nH2O. It dissolves with clear water at the concentration of 1 - 5%. The solution in water is a medium strong acid reacts with alkalis and attacks many metals in presence of water. It is widely applied as a coagulant for clarification of water treatment for industrial and drinking and in dyeing, leather tanning, in paper production, as a mordant in dyeing, and as a starting material for the production of other aluminium compounds. Another application for hydrated alumina is for the manufacture of zeolites.
PHYSICAL STATE white to off-white lump or powder
MELTING POINT 770 C (Decomposes)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY 2.7
SOLUBILITY IN WATER Soluble
pH >2.9 (5% solution)
NFPA RATINGS Health: 1; Flammability: 0; Reactivity: 0
FLASH POINT Not considered to be a fire hazard
STABILITY Stable under ordinary conditions