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Aluminum oxide

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Aluminum oxide
Aluminum oxide structure
Chemical Name:
Aluminum oxide
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Aluminum oxide Properties

Melting point:
2040 °C(lit.)
Boiling point:
vapor pressure 
17 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
refractive index 
Flash point:
storage temp. 
Miscible with ethanol.
White to pink
Specific Gravity
PH Range
3.5 - 4.5
7.0±0.5 ( in H2O)
Water Solubility 
CAS DataBase Reference
1344-28-1(CAS DataBase Reference)
Indirect Additives used in Food Contact Substances
EWG's Food Scores
NIST Chemistry Reference
Aluminum oxide(1344-28-1)
EPA Substance Registry System
Alumina (1344-28-1)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
Signal word  Danger
Hazard statements  H222-H229-H225-H319-H336-H333-H314-H318-H226-H304
Precautionary statements  P251-P410+P412-P241-P301+P310a-P331-P405-P501a-P240-P280a-P303+P361+P353-P210-P261-P305+P351+P338-P260h-P301+P330+P331
Hazard Codes  Xi,F
Risk Statements  36/37/38-67-36/38-11-36
Safety Statements  26-24/25-16-7-36
WGK Germany  -
RTECS  BD1200000
HazardClass  8
HS Code  28181010
Toxicity Chronic inhalation of Al2O3 dusts may cause lung damage.
NFPA 704
0 1

Aluminum oxide price More Price(236)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 199443 Aluminum oxide activated, basic, Brockmann I 5 g $36.8 2021-03-22 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 11028 Aluminum oxide puriss., ≥98% Al2O3 basis 1344-28-1 500g $55 2020-08-18 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 06300 Aluminum oxide activated, neutral, Brockmann Activity I 1 kg $93.9 2021-03-22 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 05184 Aluminum oxide for the determination of hydrocarbons 1344-28-1 100g-f $125 2020-08-18 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 05184 Aluminum oxide for the determination of hydrocarbons 100 g $129 2021-03-22 Buy

Aluminum oxide Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


The hexagonally closest packed α-Al2O3 modification is the only stable oxide in the Al2O3 –H2O system. Corundum is a common mineral in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Red and blue varieties of gem quality are called ruby and sapphire, respectively. The lattice of corundum is composed of hexagonally closest packed oxygen ions forming layers parallel to the (0001) plane. Only two-thirds of the octahedral interstices are occupied by aluminum ions. The structure may be described roughly as consisting of alternating layers of Al and O ions. The corundum structurewas determined in the early 1920s .

Physical properties

Regular aluminum oxide is white and has a chemical composition of approximately 95 % Al2O3, 1.5 % SiO2, less than 0.5 % Fe2O3, and 3 % TiO2. Because of very slow cooling in the Higgins furnace, the crystals of alumina are coarse, averaging 10 – 15mm in diameter.

Aluminum oxide

Thermal Decomposition

When aluminum hydroxides or oxide hydroxides are heated in air at atmospheric pressure, they undergo a series of compositional and structural changes before ultimately being converted to α-Al2O3. These thermal transformations are topotactic. Despite a loss of 34 or 15 % of mass for the trihydroxides or oxide hydroxides, respectively, the habit of the primary crystals and crystal aggregates changes very little. This leads to considerable internal porosity, which may increase the specific surface area of the material to several hundred m2/g. Structural forms develop that, although not thermodynamically stable, are well reproducible and characteristic for a given temperature range and starting material. These transition aluminas have been the subject of numerous investigations because of their surface activity, sorptive capacity, and usefulness in heterogeneous catalysis.

Industrial Manufacture

Monocrystalline aluminum oxide is a very high purity abrasive, produced directly from bauxite in a single-stage fusion . The preferred method employs a furnace feed consisting of bauxite, pyrite (FeS2) or sulfur, carbon, and iron borings. When subjected to fusion in the Higgins batch furnace, two immiscible liquids are formed as with regular aluminum oxide. However, in the present case very slowcooling of the upper liquid results in essentially pure, individual crystals of Al2O3 in a matrix of sulfides. After the pig has cooled and been crushed, the matrix is removed chemically and mechanically. This treatment releases alumina crystals in the range of sizes required by the industry.


Aluminum(III) oxide is also called aluminum oxide. In mineral form it is called corundum and is referred to as alumina in conjunction with mining and aluminum industries. Alumina exists in hydrated forms as alumina monohydrate, Al2O3?H2O and alumina trihydrate Al2O3?3H2O. The geologic source of aluminum is the rock bauxite, which has a high percentage of hydrated aluminum oxide. The main minerals in bauxite are gibbsite (Al(OH)3), diaspore (AlO(OH)), and boehmite (AlO(OH).

Chemical Properties

Vary according to the method of prepa- ration. White powder, balls, or lumps of various mesh.Insoluble in water, dif- ficultly soluble in mineral acids and strong alkali. Noncombustible.

Chemical Properties

Aluminum is a combustible, light, silverywhite, soft, ductile, malleable, amphoteric metal

Chemical Properties

Aluminum oxide occurs as a white crystalline powder. Aluminum oxide occurs as two crystalline forms: α-aluminum oxide is composed of colorless hexagonal crystals, and γ-aluminum oxide is composed of minute colorless cubic crystals that are transformed to the α-form at high temperatures.

Physical properties

Al2O3 Colorless hexagonal crystal; refractive index 1.768; density 3.965 g/cm3 (at 25°C); mp 2072°C; bp 2980°C; insoluble in water α-Al2O3 Colorless rhombic crystal; mp between 2005 to 2025°C ; density 4.022 g/m3 ; hardness 9Moh γ-Al2O3 white microscopic crystal Al2O3•H2O colorless rhombic crystal; refractive index 1.624; density 3.014 g/cm3 Al2O3•3H2O white monoclinic crystal; refractive index 1.577; density 2.420 g/cm3 All forms are insoluble in water.


Occurs in nature in abundance; the principal forms are bauxites and laterites. The mineral corundum is used to produce precious gems, such as ruby and sapphire. Activated aluminas are used extensively as adsorbents because of their affinity for water and other polar molecules; and as catalysts because of their large surface area and appropriate pore sturcture. As adsorbents, they are used for drying gases and liquids; and in adsorption chromatography. Catalytic properties may be attributed to the presence of surface active sites (primarily OH- , O2- , and Al3+ ions). Such catalytic applications include sulfur recovery from H2S (Clauss catalysis); dehydration of alcohols, isomerization of olefins; and as a catalyst support in petroleum refining.


Aluminum Oxide (Alumina) is the most widely used oxide, chiefly because it is plentiful, relatively low in cost, and equal to or better than most oxides in mechanical properties. Density can be varied over a wide range, as can purity — down to about 90% alumina — to meet specific application requirements. Alumina ceramics are the hardest, strongest, and stiffest of the oxides. They are also outstanding in electrical resistivity, dielectric strength, are resistant to a wide variety of chemicals, and are unaffected by air, water vapor, and sulfurous atmospheres. However, with a melting point of only 2039°C, they are relatively low in refractoriness, and at 1371°C retain only about 10% of room-temperature strength. In addition to its wide use as electrical insulators and its chemical and aerospace applications, the high hardness and close dimensional tolerance capability of alumina make this ceramic suitable for such abrasion-resistant parts as textile guides, pump plungers, chute linings, discharge orifices, dies, and bearings.


Alumina is a white crystalline substance that resembles salt. Approximately 90% of all alumina is used for making aluminum, with the remainder used for abrasives and ceramics.


Aluminum oxide is known as the mineral bauxite. Its main use is for the production of aluminum metal by electrolysis. It is also used in many other chemical reactions.


Occurs in nature in abundance; the principal forms are bauxites and laterites. The mineral corundum is used to produce precious gems, such as ruby and sapphire. Activated aluminas are used extensively as adsorbents because of their affinity for water and other polar molecules; and as catalysts because of their large surface area and appropriate pore sturcture. As adsorbents, they are used for drying gases and liquids; and in adsorption chromatography. Catalytic properties may be attributed to the presence of surface active sites (primarily OH– , O2– , and Al3+ ions). Such catalytic applications include sulfur recovery from H2S (Clauss catalysis); dehydration of alcohols, isomerization of olefins; and as a catalyst support in petroleum refining.




Pure Aluminum oxide, needed to produce aluminum by the Hall process, is made by the Bayer process. The starting material is bauxite (Al2O3 • nH2O). The ore contains impurities, such as, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, and Na2O. Most impurities are removed following treatment with caustic soda solution. Bauxite is dissolved in NaOH solution. Silica, iron oxides and other impurities are filtered out of the solution. CO2 is then bubbled through this solution. This precipitates are heated to remove water and produce Al2O3. These impurities are removed. Calcinations of bauxite produce Aluminum oxide of abrasive and refractory grades. Activated Aluminum oxide of amorphous type, as well as the transition Aluminum oxides of γ, η, χ, and ρ forms, are obtained from various aluminum hydroxides, such as, α- and β-trihydrates, α-monohydrate and Aluminum oxide gel. Such chemicals are also obtained from bauxite by the Bayer process.

Production Methods

The Bayer process begins by grinding the bauxite and mixing it with sodium hydroxide in a digester. The sodium hydroxide dissolves aluminum oxide components to produce aluminum hydroxide compounds. For gibbsite, the reaction is: Al(OH)3 + NaOH → Al(OH)4- + Na+. Insoluble impurities such as silicates, titanium oxides, and iron oxides are removed from the solution while sodium hydroxide is recovered and recycled. Reaction conditions are then modified so that aluminum trihydroxide (Al(OH)3) precipitates out. The reaction can be represented as the reverse of the previous reaction: Al(OH)4- + Na+ → Al(OH)3 + NaOH. Aluminum trihydroxide is calcined to drive off water to produce alumina:
Al(OH)3 Al2O3 + 3H2O.


The mineral corundum is natural aluminum oxide, and emery, ruby, and sapphire are impure crystalline varieties. The mixed mineral bauxite is a hydrated aluminum oxide.

Production Methods

Most of the aluminum oxide produced commercially is obtained by the calcination of aluminum hydroxide.


Aluminum oxide exhibits amphoteric behavior. It is soluble both in acids and bases. With acids, it produces their corresponding salts. It froms Al2(SO4)3, Al(NO3)3 and AlCl3 upon reactions with H2SO4, HNO3, and HCl, respectively. In acid medium, it exists as a solvated aluminum ion, in which water molecules are hexacoordinated to trivalent Al3+, as shown below:
Al2O3 + 6H3O+3H2O ——› 2[Al(H2O)6]3+
(Rollinson, C. L., 1978., Aluminum Compounds. In Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 3rd ed. Vol 2, pp 188-97. NY,: Wiley Interscience)
Aluminum oxide forms hydroxide in aqueous alkaline solution. The reaction is slow. The products, aluminum hydroxides (hydrated aluminas), contain hexacoordinated aluminohydroxide anion:
Al2O3 + 2OH– + 7H2O → 2[Al(OH)4(H2O)2]–
In its dry state, Aluminum oxide exhibiting basicity reacts with silica, forming aluminum silicate
Al2O3 + 3SiO2 → Al2(SiO3)3
Similarly, with basic CaO or MgO aluminate salts are formed
MgO + Al2O3 → Mg(AlO2)2 CaO + Al2O3 → Ca(AlO2)2
It forms aluminum nitride, AlN when heated with coal in a stream of nitrogen; and aluminum borate, Al2O3 •B2O3 when heated with B2O3 at 1000°C.

General Description

White odorless crystalline powder. Water insoluble. Properties (both physical and chemical) vary according to the method of preparation; different methods give different crystalline modifications. The variety formed at very high temperature is quite inert chemically.

Air & Water Reactions

Insoluble in water.

Reactivity Profile

Aluminum oxide is chemically amphoteric (behaves as a weak acid in the presence of base and as a weak base in the presence of acid). May act catalytically. May cause the exothermic polymerization of ethylene oxide. May cause the vigorous polymerization of vinyl chloride [MCA SD-75, 1970]. The degree of subdivision of the Aluminum oxide may affect the vigor of such reactions.


Toxic by inhalation of dust. Confirmed car- cinogen.

Health Hazard

The aluminas are considered to be nuisance dusts; their role in fibrogenic lung disease remains unclear.
Assessment of the toxicity of aluminas has been complicated by the chemical and physical variants of the compounds and inconsistencies in the nomenclature used to describe them.1 The group of compounds referred to as aluminas is composed of various structural forms of aluminum oxide, trihydroxide, and oxyhydroxide. 2 As these aluminas are heated, dehydration occurs, producing a variety of transitional forms; temperatures between 200 and 500°C result in low-temperature-range transitional aluminas characterized by increased catalytic activity and larger surface area.(Transitional aluminas include c, h, and g forms, which, taken together, were formerly termed “g.”)

Pharmaceutical Applications

Aluminum oxide is used mainly in tablet formulations.It is used for decoloring powders and is particularly widely used in antibiotic formulations. It is also used in suppositories, pessaries, and urethral inserts. Hydrated aluminum oxide is used in mordant dyeing to make lake pigments, in cosmetics, and therapeutically as an antacid.

Industrial uses

Fused aluminum oxide was the second synthetic abrasive to be developed. Synthetic aluminum oxide (alumina) is made as a white powder and can be somewhat harder than corundum (natural alumina) because of its purity. However, corundum has a Mohs hardness of approximately 9 (on a scale of 1 to 10. Alumina can be processed with different properties by slight alteration of the reactants in the manufacturing process. Several grain sizes of alumina are available, and alumina has largely replaced emery for several abrasive uses. Aluminum oxide is widely used to make bonded abrasives, coated abrasives, and air-propelled grit abrasives for dental applications.
Sintered aluminum oxide is used to make white stones, which are popular for adjusting dental enamel and finishing metal alloys, resin-based composites, and ceramic materials.
Pink and ruby variations of aluminum oxide abrasives are made by adding chromium compounds to the original melt. These variations are sold in a vitreous-bonded form as noncontaminating mounted stones for the preparation of metal– ceramic alloys to receive porcelain. Remnants of these abrasives and other debris should be removed from the surface of metals used for metal–ceramic bonding so as not to prevent optimal bonding of porcelain to the metal alloy. A review by Yamamoto (see Selected Reading) suggests that carbide burs are the most effective instruments for finishing this type of alloy because they do not contaminate the metal surface with entrapped abrasive particles.

Safety Profile

Suspected carcinogen with experimental neoplastigenic and tumorigenic data by implantation. Inhalation of finely divided particles may cause lung damage (Shaver's disease). Exothermic reaction above 200℃ with halocarbon vapors produces toxic HCl and phosgene. See also ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS


Aluminum oxide is generally regarded as relatively nontoxic and nonirritant when used as an excipient. Inhalation of finely divided particles may cause lung damage (Shaver’s disease).

Potential Exposure

Most hazardous exposures to aluminum occur in smelting and refining processes. Aluminum is mostly produced by electrolysis of Al2O3 dissolved in molten cryolite (Na3AlF6). Aluminum is alloyed with copper, zinc, silicon, magnesium, manganese, and nickel; special additives may include chromium, lead, bismuth, titanium, zirconium, and vanadium. Aluminum and its alloys can be extruded or processed in rolling mills, wire works, forges, or foundries; and are used in the shipbuilding, electrical, building, aircraft, automobile, light engineering, and jewelry industries. Aluminum foil is widely used in packaging. Powdered aluminum is used in the paints and pyrotechnic industries. Alumina, emery, and corundum has been used for abrasives, refractories, and catalysts; and in the past in the first firing of china and pottery.


Aluminum oxide should be stored in a well-closed container in a cool, dry, place. It is very hygroscopic.


UN1309 Aluminum powder, coated, Hazard Class: 4.1; Labels: 4.1-Flammable solid. UN1383 Pyrophoric metals, n.o.s. or Pyrophoric alloys, n.o.s., Hazard Class: 4.2; Labels: 4.2-Spontaneously combustible material, Technical Name Required. UN1396 Aluminum powder, uncoated, Hazard Class: 4.3; Labels: 4.3-Dangerous when wet material. NA9260 (North America) Aluminum, molten, Hazard class: 9; Labels: 9-Miscellaneous hazardous material.

Purification Methods

Stir the oxide with hot 2M HNO3, either on a steam bath for 12hours (changing the acid every hour) or three times for 30minutes, then wash it with hot distilled water until the washings have pH 4, and follow by three washings with hot MeOH. The product is dried at 270o [Angyal & Young J Am Chem Soc 81 5251 1959]. For the preparation of alumina for chromatography see Chapter 1. [For  ,  and  Al2O3 see Becher in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry (Ed. Brauer) Academic Press Vol I p 822-823 1963 and Wagner in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry (Ed. Brauer) Academic Press Vol II p 1662 1965.]


Aluminum oxide should be kept well away from water. It is incompatible with strong oxidizers and chlorinated rubber. Aluminum oxide also reacts with chlorine trifluoride, ethylene oxide, sodium nitrate, and vinyl acetate. Exothermic reactions above 2008℃ with halocarbon vapors produce toxic hydrogen chloride and phosgene fumes.

Waste Disposal

Consult with environmental regulatory agencies for guidance on acceptable disposalpractices. Generators of waste containing this contaminant (≥100 kg/mo) must conform with EPA regulations governing storage, transportation, treatment, and waste disposal of Aluminum Oxide-Disposal in a sanitary landfill. Mixing of industrial process wastes and municipal wastes at such sites is not encouraged however. Aluminum powder may be recovered and sold as scrap. Recycling and recovery is a viable option to disposal for aluminum metal and aluminum fluoride (A-57).

Regulatory Status

Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (oral tablets and topical sponge). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK.

Aluminum oxide Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Aluminum oxide Suppliers

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2020-07-09 Aluminum oxide
US $1.00 / T 1T 99% 20tons Hebei Yanxi Chemical Co., Ltd.
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