How Aluminium Oxide Reacts With Hydrochloric Acid

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Aluminum oxide reacts with hydrochloric acid

In chemistry, aluminium oxide is known by the chemical name Al2O3. It is an inorganic compound that is found naturally as corundum (rubies, sapphires, and emeralds) and can also be mined from wastes of coal mining operations.

It is an amphoteric substance that can react with both acids and bases, so it can be used as a catalyst in some industrial reactions. It can also be used as a purifier of water, and as an electrical insulator.

Aluminium oxide can be obtained from the washing of bauxite and other rocky materials with hot dilute sodium hydroxide solution, or by treating the wastes of coal mining operations to extract aluminum sulfate. It is used in a range of industrial applications, such as the Claus process for converting hydrogen sulfide waste gases into elemental sulfur and some Ziegler-Natta polymerizations.

When aluminium oxide reacts with hydrochloric acid, it produces a salt called aluminum chloride and colourless hydrogen gas. The reaction is irreversible, so it can’t be reversed.

This is a kind of redox reaction, as aluminium loses its electrons to the protons in hydrochloric acid and becomes an aluminium ion. This ion then combines with oxygen in the solution to produce hydrogen gas. However, as aluminium has a relatively weak reduction potential, the ions that form this reaction can only reduce it to a +2 oxidation state. This can cause the aluminium ion to become very unstable and to break off into pieces of aluminium oxide.

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