1070-4272/02/7505-0856$27.00C2002 MAIK [Nauka/Interperiodica]
Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 75, No. 5, 2002, pp. 856 !860. Translated from Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, Vol. 75, No. 5,
2002, pp. 873!877.
Original Russian Text Copyright + 2002 by Morachevskii.
HISTORY OF CHEMISTRY
AND CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY
70th Anniversary of the Foundation
of Russia’s Aluminum Industry
Among nonferrous metals, aluminum holds the
first place in the production volume. The prospects for
this metal are favorable: the demand for aluminum
will grow steadily. The annual rise in aluminum con-
sumption is 2.533.0% [1, 2].
In 1998, for the first time in its history, the Russian
aluminum industry produced more than 3 million tons
and in 1999, 3146.2 thousand tons of aluminum.
Russia is second in the world in production of primary
aluminum only to the United States and first in export
amounting to 90% of the metal produced. The share
of aluminum in the total export of nonferrous metals
by Russia is 46% .
According to the available estimates, the produc-
tion of primary aluminum in Russia will grow within
the next few years owing to intensification of the al-
ready existing plants and possible construction of new
ones. It is expected that the metal production will be
3.7 and 4.2 million tons in, respectively, 2005 and
2010. In the course of the recovery of the national
economy, the annual rise in the aluminum consump-
tion within the country, according to different esti-
mates, will be in the range from 50 to 200 thousand
tons. This communication briefly outlines the history
of setting up the aluminum production in Russia.
Metallic aluminum was first obtained in 1825 by
H.Ch. Oersted (177731851), a Danish physicist, by
reacting aluminum chloride with potassium amalgam.
Later, in 1827, F. W1ohler (180031884), a German
physicist, replaced potassium amalgam in this process
with metallic potassium. The further development of
methods for producing aluminum is associated with
French scientists L. Le Chatelier (181531873) [father
of H. Le Chatelier (1850 31936), a famous physical
chemist] and H. Sainte-Claire Deville (181831881).
In 1855, L. Le Chatelier developed a method for
producing alumina from bauxites, based on heating of
powdered bauxites and soda in a reverberating fur-
nace, subsequent separation of sodium aluminate from
iron oxide, and treatment of the resulting solution
with carbon dioxide. In 1854, Sainte-Claire Deville
proposed to reduce the double salt AlCl
metallic sodium. In 1856, this method was applied to
Nikolai Nikolaevich Beketov.
obtain 25 kg of aluminum. The double salt was, in
turn, obtained by heating a mixture of Al
and carbon in a flow of chlorine, and metallic sodium,
by reduction of Na
with carbon at high tem-
N.N. Beketov (182731911), professor of Kharkov
University and Academician of the Russian Academy
of Sciences since 1886, continued in Russia the stud-
ies on mutual displacement of metals, commenced by
him in France, and found that aluminum can be ob-
tained by the reaction of cryolite with magnesium
(1865). Aluminum was produced during a certain
period (188631890) at a plant in Germany.
In 188531888, a small plant producing aluminum
by Sainte-Claire Deville’s method existed near Mos-
cow, but the cost of the metal was too high. Alumi-
num, its properties and alloys, and production process
were the subject of several books published in Russia