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Aluminum is my name, Opportunism is my aim!

GOAL: Meet Aluminum (Al). Learn the concept of Passivity. Talk about Recycling of Aluminum.

 Meet a useful Basic Metal that is abundant in the Earth’s crust: Aluminum (Al).  Learn the concept of Passivity and the dual personality that Aluminum can have in the presence of Oxygen. 

We talk about Recycling and review the idea of Batteries and electricity.

Aluminum, a light, gray, and shiny element, is in column 13 or 3A of the Periodic Table.  He belongs to the Basic Metals family.  Because he is in Group 3A, this will indicate that Al has 3 Valence electrons in his outermost shell. 

Aluminum is extraordinarily energetic.  Al can burn in contact with Oxygen.  However, if Aluminum contacts Oxygen or water, he develops a very strong, thin layer of oxide on his surface.  That layer protects Aluminum from Oxygen.  That tiny layer is called a Passive layer. Aluminum can be passive and used in many types of structures; or used as a very energetic fuel if it does not have that passive layer.  If Aluminum has no passive layer, he can burn actively in the air, like a Fourth of July sparkler!


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