Question

# (a) Give the chemical name and formula of 'cryolite'. (b) What is the function of cryolite in the extraction of aluminium, other than acting as a solvent for bauxite?

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Solution

## (a) The chemical name for cryolite is sodium aluminium fluoride and its chemical formula is ${\mathrm{Na}}_{3}{\mathrm{AlF}}_{6}$. b) Cryolite acts as a solvent for the electrolytic mixture. It helps dissolve fused pure alumina and helps melt the mixture at $950{}^{\mathrm{o}}C$ instead of $2050{}^{\mathrm{o}}\mathrm{C}$ (melting point of alumina). Thus, at this temperature, a molten alumina mixture is obtained and it conducts electricity easily.

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