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How are most metals found?

Most metals do react with other elements to form compounds. Which can be found naturally in the Earth's crust. If a compound is worth extracting. The compound is called a metal ore (these are finite resources).


What is the most common compound for an ore?

The metal with the oxygen, so the metal oxide


How do you extract metals LESS REACTIVE than carbon?

A reduction reaction takes place.
The most common reducing agent is carbon.
The metal oxide (ore) is heated with carbon monoxide.
Carbon is more reactive than eg iron so 'steals' the oxygen.


How do you extract metals MORE REACTIVE than carbon?

Very reactive metals form stable ores, so it is difficult to separate the metal from the oxide.
So metals that are more reactive than carbon have to be extracted using electrolysis. The metal ions are given electrons by the cathode. This process is expensive.


What is the main ore of aluminium?

Bauxite, and after mining and purifying, pure aluminium oxide is left.


What is aluminium oxide dissolved in?

Molten cryolite (a less common ore of aluminium)


Why is aluminium oxide dissolved in molten cryolite?

Aluminium oxide has a very high melting point (over 2000 degrees) so it would be very expensive to melt.
Dissolving it in molten cryolite, reduces the melting point (of the mixture) to about 900 degrees, which makes the process much cheaper and easier.
It lowers the operating temperature


What are the electrodes made of?

Carbon, they have to be replaced regularly as due to high temperatures they burn in the oxygen to form carbon dioxide.


Describe what happens during the electrolysis of aluminium oxide

Molten aluminium oxide contains free ions, so will conduct electricity
The Al3+ ions go to the cathode, and molten Al forms at the bottom
The O2- ions go to the anode, where they lose electrons
The O2 reacts slowly with the carbon anodes, forming CO2. Therefore, because the anode is constantly getting worn down, it often needs replacing.


What kind of reaction is the electrolysis of aluminium oxide and what is the equation?

Decomposition reaction
2Al2O3 = 4Al + 3O2


What equation happens at the cathode during the electrolysis of aluminium oxide?

Al3+ + 3e- = Al (reduction because the ions gain electrons)


What equation happens at the anode during the electrolysis of aluminium oxide?

2O2- = O2 + 4e- (oxidation)


Why is the electrolysis of aluminium oxide expensive?

It uses a lot of electricity
Energy is needed for heat
The replacement of the anodes


Where can iron ore be found?

Australia, Canada and Millom


What is the name for iron ore?



How is iron extracted from the iron ore?

By reduction in a blast furnace. The raw materials and process is relatively cheap.


What are the raw materials used in the extraction of iron?

Iron ore - containing iron
Coke - almost pure carbon, for reducing the Fe2O3
Limestone - takes away the impurities in the form of slag


Describe the process of reducing the iron ore to iron in the blast furnace including equations

1) Hot air is blasted into the furnace, making the Coke burn much faster than normal. This raises the temperature to about 1500 degrees
2) The Coke burns and produces CO2:
C + O2 = CO2
3) The CO2 reacts with the unburnt Coke to form CO:
CO2 + C = 2CO
4) The CO then reduces the iron ore to iron:
3CO + Fe2O3 = 3CO2 + 2Fe
5) The iron is molten at this temperature and also very dense, so it runs straight to the bottom of the furnace where it's tapped off


What is the main impurity in the iron ore?

SiO2. This is still solid and would tend to stay mixed with the iron. The limestone removes it.


Describe the process of removing the impurities in iron including equations

1) The limestone is decomposed by the heat into CaO and CO2:
CaCO3(s) = CaO(s) + CO2(g)
2) The CaO then reacts with SiO2 to form calcium silicate:
CaO(s) + SiO2(s) = CaSiO3(l) (molten slag that can be tapped off) - this is a neutralisation reaction


What are the uses of slag (when cooled)?

Road building, fertiliser


Properties of aluminium

Low density
Resistant to corrosion because of passive oxide layer
Relatively strong when alloyed


Uses of aluminium (in relation to properties)

Manufacture of kitchen foil + high voltage electricity cables
Because it doesn't corrode easily, useful for products that come into contact with water e.g. drink cans
Relatively light metal: bicycle frames and aeroplanes


What is the name of iron that comes out of the blast furnace and it's characteristics

Pig iron, 96% pure, therefore brittle and useless


Uses of pure iron (or can be said it's useless because it's too soft)

Wrought iron (almost 100% pure) is malleable and can be used to make ornamental gates and railings. Has now been largely replaced with mild steel as it is much harder and wrought iron is not suitable for constructive purposes.


What happens to pig iron and what does it make

It is purified then mixed with other elements to make alloys


What are the two main alloys of iron?

Cast iron


Properties and uses of cast iron

Combination of iron, silicon and carbon (4%)
Hard but brittle
Used to make manhole covers and gutterings and drainpipes


What do the properties of steel depend on?

The amount of different elements added
The form of heat treatment the steel has undergone


What are the two types of steel?

Carbon steels
Stainless steel