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Aluminum is a versatile material integral to modern life. The metal is found in everything from soda cans to cell phones to window frames to airplanes. The process for making the aluminum that goes into these products is found in the pages within the Industries section. Details about end use products are found in the Product Markets section. To learn more about each stage of the aluminum process, click on the icons below.


1.) Bauxite

Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminum. The ore must first be chemically processed to produce alumina (aluminum oxide).


2.) Alumina

Alumina is produced from bauxite via the Bayer process.


3.) Primary Production

Primary production is the process by which alumina is smelted to pure aluminum metal via the Hall–Héroult process.


4.) Processing

Between the production of aluminum from bauxite to well-known end products like buildings and beverage containers lies processing.


5.) Product Markets

Product Markets: Innovative applications for aluminum are all around us, from our high-tech gadgets to the rocket that takes us to space and in all our everyday products in between.


6.) Recycling

Recycling: Aluminum is the most recyclable of all materials, and discarded aluminum is more valuable than any other item in the recycling bin.


7.) Secondary Production

Secondary Production is the process of recycling aluminum scrap into aluminum that can be used again—an environmentally sound process that is 92 percent more energy efficient than primary production.

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