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ALUMINA. The oxide of aluminum, Al2O3.

The natural crystalline

mineral is called corundum, but the synthetic crystals used for abrasives are designated usually as aluminum oxide or marketed under trade names. For other uses and as a powder, it is generally called alumina. It is widely distributed in nature in combination with silica and other minerals and is an important constituent of the clays for making porcelain, bricks, pottery, and refractories. The alumina clay from the large deposits in western Idaho contains an average of 28% Al2O3, 5.6% iron oxide, and a high percentage of titanium oxide. Such clays are used for ceramics, but the oxide, alumina, is obtained commercially chiefly by high-temperature fusing of bauxite. It is also produced from alunite with a by-product fertilizer and is obtained from the oil shales of Colorado.