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Aluminium oxide and sodium hydroxide are in the same family of chemical compounds. They are both inorganic and have acidic and basic properties.
When aluminium is exposed to air, it forms oxide, which is a crystalline solid. This oxide can be formed in several different ways. It is usually alloyed with other elements, which adds strength. The aluminium oxide forms a thin film that prevents acid from penetrating the aluminum.
Aluminum oxide reacts with sodium hydroxide, producing sodium aluminate. This compound is an inorganic salt and has both acidic and basic properties.
When aluminium oxide is reacted with sodium aluminate, it produces a thin layer of water. The reaction rate depends on the temperature, concentration of the alkali and type of alkali.
Sodium aluminate is a white, crystalline substance. It is produced in the first step of the aluminum oxide reaction. It is then electrolysed in solution in molten cryolite.
Sodium aluminate can be obtained as a solid or as a solution. Its formula is NaAlO2, and it is also called hydrated NaAlO2. In addition to its use as an effective source of aluminium hydroxide, it is used in many manufacturing processes.
Sodium aluminate has a relatively high melting point. This is why it cannot be electrolysed on its own. However, it can be used as an oxidizing agent in the manufacture of other chemicals.
Sodium aluminate also acts as an anticorrosive. It forms a hydroxyde layer that blocks acids from penetrating the metal.