Sodium hexafluoroaluminate

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Sodium aluminium hexafluoride
Sodium aluminium hexafluoride unit cell
Identifiers
CAS number 13775-53-6 YesY
PubChem 159692
ChemSpider 11431435 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:39289 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula Na3AlF6
Molar mass 209.94 g/mol
Appearance white powder
Density 2.9 g/cm³, solid
Melting point 950 °C
Boiling point decomposes
Solubility in water insoluble
Vapor pressure essentially 0
Hazards
EU classification not listed
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Sodium aluminium hexafluoride is the inorganic compound with the formula Na3AlF6. This colourless solid, which occurs naturally as the mineral cryolite, is used extensively in the industrial production of aluminium.

History[edit]

In 1957, sodium aluminium hexafluoride was registered as a pesticide with the United States EPA. Today there are four Sodium hexafluoroaluminate products registered.[1]

Production[edit]

Most cryolite is manufactured from aluminium oxides, hydrofluoric acid, and sodium hydroxide or the equivalent reagent hexafluorosilicic acid:[2]

6 NaOH + Al2O3 + 12 HF → 2 Na3AlF6 + 9 H2O

Use[edit]

The main application of synthetic cryolite is as a solvent (or flux) for electrolysis aluminium oxides such as bauxite. The conversion of aluminium oxides into metallic aluminium requires that the metal ions be dissolved so that they can accept the electrons provided in the electrolysis cell. A mixture of cryolite and some aluminium trifluoride is that solvent. Unlike typical solutions, this one requires temperatures approaching 1000 °C to melt. Sodium aluminium hexafluoride is also used as a pesticide. Other uses include a whitener for enamels and an opacifier for glass. [3]

Safety[edit]

Cryolite is poorly soluble in water which mitigates problems. Upon ingestion, however, the acids in the stomach increases this solubility. The LD50 = 200 mg/kg, comparable to that for soluble fluoride salts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/0087.pdf
  2. ^ J. Aigueperse, P. Mollard, D. Devilliers, M. Chemla, R. Faron, R. Romano, J. P. Cuer, “Fluorine Compounds, Inorganic” in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005.doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_307
  3. ^ http://www.mineralszone.com/minerals/cryolite.html

External links[edit]