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IGCSE Science - Electrolysis of Aluminium: Task

A guide to information sources for an IGCSE Chemistry report on the electrolysis of aluminium - compiled by your librarians


Welcome to the 'Electrolysis of Aluminium' libguide. 

We have put this guide together to help you to find relevant resources for your 'Electrolysis of Aluminium' iGCSE coursework. 

Watch the videos on this page and click on the tabs above to find lots of useful books, articles and websites on this subject.


Aluminium is a very important natural resource. 

It has many uses and is economically very important. 

Despite aluminium being incredibly plentiful in the Earth's crust, it is expensive to produce, and recycling it is common. 

A Discovery Channel video on aluminium extraction

(Source of video: you tube)

Aspect 1 - Science and Society

  • Discuss the economic importance of aluminium. 
  • Why is it such a vital element? 
  • What is it used for?


  • What environmental problems are associated with
  • (i) the extraction of aluminium ore (bauxite) from the Earth and
  • (ii) the process of purifying (electrolysing) the ore to get the aluminium.


  • Discuss whether you think aluminium should be recycled.

Aspect 2 - Relevant scientific terminology

  • Explain the process of electrolysis to produce pure aluminium. 
  • Use key words from the topic list, such as oxidation, reduction, anode, cathode, anion, cation and specific words such as bauxite and crylite.

A video from the European Aluminium Association

(Source of video: you tube)

Aspect 3 - Use of diagrams / pictures / symbols

  • Draw a diagram of the apparatus used for electrolysis and label it. 
  • Use this diagram in your explanation.
  • Write equations for the oxidation and reduction reactions taking place at each electrode.

Aspect 4 - Referencing and bibliography

  • You need a range of sources including books and websites. 
  • Start with your IGCSE Chemistry textbook.
  • When doing web searches, be careful that you don't get overly advanced material. 
  • There are many school (ie GCSE) websites with useful information on them.
  • If you find a useful site, bookmark it immediately, so that you don't foget it.
  • Use the Citations Manager on MS Word to help you.
  • Reference you sources in the text, so your teacher knows where each piece of information came from.

Some interesting facts about aluminium

(Source of video: you tube)

Credit for this Libguide - Suzanne Parfitt

This Libguide was originally conceptualized and created by Suzanne Parfitt, Astt. Librarian at Tanglin Trust School from 2009-2015. 

It is maintained and updated by Senior Library Staff.