If you are working with aluminium sulphate or "alum" in the operation of a particular industry, you probably do not know about many other uses or properties that make it useful for industrial, medical and consumer applications. We think alum is one of the unsung heroes of the chemical world, and we’ve written this post so you can learn more about its composition and uses.
The chemical composition
Aluminium sulfate exists as white, lustrous crystals form. You can find aluminum sulfate for sale in powder, flake, and granule form. In nature, it exists as the mineral alunogenite. Aluminium sulfate is sometimes called alum or papermaker’s alum, however, the name “alum” is more commonly and properly used for any double sulfate salt with the generic formula XAl(SO4)2·12H2O, where X is a monovalent cation such as potassium or ammonium. Aluminium sulfate has an action similar to that of alum but is more stringent.
Where is Aluminum Sulfate used?
Water Treatment Applications
Ever wonder how we manage to have safe drinking water flows out of our taps? You can thank aluminium sulfate. City water suppliers, such as your local water utility companies, make use of alum to treat water for human consumption. In addition, process water (non-potable water) can also be treated with these chemicals for purification when bacteria/sediment will cause adverse effects.
When added to water, aluminium sulfate causes microscopic dirt to clump together into larger and larger particles. These clumps then settle to the bottom of the container and can be filtered out. This makes the water safe to drink. On the same principle, alum is also sometimes used in swimming pools to reduce the turbidity of the water.