Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version


  • Mainak MookherjeeAffiliated withEarth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University Email author 

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Al

Atomic Number: 13

Atomic Weight: 26.98 g/mol

Isotopes and Abundances:27Al 100 %, 26Al (short-lived)

1 Atm Melting Point: 660.3 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 2519 °C

Common Valences: 3+

Ionic Radii: 53 pm (4-fold); 67.5 pm (6-fold)

Pauling Electronegativity: 1.61

First Ionization Energy: 577.5 kJ/mol

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 0.84 %

Silicate Earth Abundance: ~2.3 %

Crustal Abundance: 8.45 %

Seawater Abundance: 1–2 × 10−9 kg/L

Core Abundance: ~0

McDonough and Sun (1995)

Rudnick and Gao (2014)


A metallic element that is silver-white in color, weighs less, does not readily oxidize, i.e., resistant to corrosion, ductile, malleable, and is a good electrical conductor. The metal occurs as oxides, hydroxides, and aluminosilicate minerals in the Earth’s crust.

History and Use

In 1825, Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted obtained aluminum by heating aluminum chloride with potassium. However the aluminum was impure. In 1827, German chemist Friedrich Wöhler used similar method ...

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