Aluminum is one of the lightest metals in the world and as a result it is used widely in the production of multiple product. This metal has a shiny silver color and it is malleable meaning it can be bend without breaking. In nature, aluminum is found in an ore called bauxite. This ore is refined using various techniques to produces aluminum oxide which is called alumina. Alumina is then refined in order to produce aluminum.
Countries that Produce the Most Aluminum
The largest production of aluminum in the world takes place in China with over twenty-three thousand tons being produced in 2014. This is almost 20 thousand tons more than any other country in the world. The main reason for this is because the Chinese people have a might demand for this light weight metal. From motor vehicles to soda cans, aluminum is used in a wide range of products that are in high demand in China and as a result the country has a production rate of this material. That being said, such a large amount of aluminum is expensive and it is only possible since there is a large amount of subsidization in the production cost by the Chinese government.
Outside of the Chinese, Australia is also a large producer of aluminum and that is largely due to the nations large bauxite production. Australia is the leading producer of bauxite in the world and this is due to the large amounts of the ore that is found in the country. Over one third of the worlds bauxite is produced in Australia and this ore allows Australia to produce a large amount of aluminum. It is important to note that Australia’s production of aluminum is not proportionate to its productions of bauxite since a large proportion of bauxite it exported to other countries around the world.
Russia is also a large producer of aluminum producing 3,500 thousand tons of aluminum in 2014. A large reason for this production statistic is due to the fact that aluminum company United Company Rusal operates out of Russia. This company operates many operations in Russia which includes six aluminum smelters, two alumina refineries and two foil rolling mills. United Company Rusal is the second largest aluminum company in the world, only losing top spot to Chinese company China Hongqiao Group in 2015.
Practical Applications of Aluminum
Aluminum has many applications in industries such as transportation, packaging, construction and electrical transmission. In the transportation industry, the most common use on aluminum is as sheets, tubes, and casting. Automobiles, trains, and aircraft all use aluminum in their exteriors. In regards to packaging, many food and beverage containers are made of aluminum and the main reason for this is because the metal does not corrode. This allows the food container to last much longer. In addition to packaging and transportation related uses, the construction industry also relies heavily on aluminum since doors, windows and roofing can all use this metal. As far as electrical transmission is concerned, transmission lines often use aluminum as oxidation is not an issue.