Aluminium was first produced commercially in 1855 in France, by H. Sainte-Claire Deville. This was done by reducing Aluminium Chloride with sodium. The French government supported the technique financially, since Napoleon the third considered it to be useful in body armour. In the five years fater 1855, the price fell from $US500 to $US40, but the emperor only received a few helmets, a dinner set and a few toys. Indeed, Aluminium was more expernsive than gold at the time.

In 1886, Hall and Heroult independently discovered a more economic method for the production of Aluminium. This is known as the Hall-Heroult Process. This allowed the price to drop to less than $US4 per Kg.

Alumina is extracted from Bauxite, using the Bayer Process. It is this Alumina which is made into Aluminium by the Hall-Heroult Process

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