- Aluminium is a reactive metal so carbon cannot be used to displace it from its oxide, instead, electrolysis is used.
- Electrolysis is when an electric current is passed through molten aluminium oxide to break it down.
- The aluminium is first mined into an ore (containing aluminium oxide mixed with impurities) and the oxide must first be melted before electolysis can take place.
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- Titanium is not particulary reactive so carbon can be used to displace it from its oxide, but this makes it very brittle.
- Instead, a more reactive metal is used to do this: magnesium or sodium.
- Before displacement of titanium can take place, the titanium must be processed and this involves seperating the titanium oxide and converting it into a chloride.
- The chloride is then distilled to purify it and then the titanium is ready to be displaced.
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