Aluminium encyclopaedia

Primary aluminium

Primary aluminium is the term used to describe aluminium produced by fused-salt electrolysis from aluminium oxide, which itself is extracted from the aluminium ore bauxite. The term "primary" refers to the fact that this aluminium is extracted directly from the raw material, in other words in a pure form for the first time. This extraction requires a relatively large amount of energy (between 13 and 16 kilowatt-hours per kilogram of aluminium) and is carried out in so-called "smelters".

Primary aluminium is unalloyed aluminium with a purity of 99.7 per cent and is the starting material for alloys and refined aluminium.