What is the difference between aluminum and aluminium?
Aluminum is one of the most preferred, most consumed, and most beneficial metals in the World. According to traders, aluminum is the second used one after the steel. Because of the distinctive features of aluminum, it is used highly in important and different industries. Other than this, there are so many different areas of usage in our daily modern lives. In this blog, we have mentioned about definition and history of aluminum before. You can check them for more information if you want.
But today, we will not talk about these issues. So many people wonder about is it aluminum or aluminium? Is there and what is the difference between them? Why some people prefer saying aluminum or aluminium. Which one is more used; aluminum or aluminium? I think this is an interesting topic and as Bor Aluminium Company, we are here to enlighten you. So here is aluminum vs. aluminium.
Aluminium vs. Aluminum
First of all, this issue has nothing with chemicals or metallurgy. It is only a matter of language. Yes, aluminum and aluminium both resemble the same thing. Aluminum is the term in American and Canadian English. And aluminium is the right saying in British and other Britain related English. This is not a very interesting issue because there are nearly 4000 words that are used differently between British and American English. Some examples are;
- Colour for British and color for American,
And there are many more like this. So, on the periodic table, the atomic number of the aluminum is 13 and the symbol is Al. But how the difference occurred? And which one is older, aluminum or aluminium? Let’s talk about this now.
Rise of a new Metal, Aluminum or -ium
The first given name was aluminum. When the inventor of this metal, Sir Humphry Davy, first discovered it at the beginning of the 19’th century, he named it as aluminum. The name was coming from alumina, which is a mineral that is discovered only 20 years before the aluminum. And this term was originated from the French word alum, which is another mineral that has been used from ancient times for tanning and dyeing. So we can understand that aluminum came before -ium version.
So why the -ium version happened? He was a classically educated English chemist, and he wanted to stick to his other inventions harmonically, which are potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, barium, and strontium. So, he added -ium and used as aluminium.
On the other hand, aluminium was also very popular in the United States. It was very common to use aluminium, especially in the United States newspapers until the end of the century. But however, the -um version became popular in the next decade. So, at the beginning of the 20’th century, both versions were popular and being used. But the decision-maker was a dictionary, Noah’s Webster‘s An American Dictionary of the English Language. Most of the words that are different from British English are originated from this dictionary who generally simplify the language for the young Americans. So, from early 1828, there was only one word in the dictionary about this element, aluminum.
In fact, aluminum was a rare metal at the beginning of the 1900s, and it was more expensive than gold or silver. Because it was so hard to extract, so aluminum remained an exotic element for a long time. But after the French Emperor Napoleon III made aluminum set as the official cutlery for services, it became more popular. So some new extraction techniques were improved in order to extract and process aluminum. As the availability of the metal increased so much, it was no more a rare metal, so the price of it decreased. It was that time that standardization became important and in 1925, the American Chemical Society officially accepted the only word aluminum, as it is on the Webster Dictionary.
Which one is True, Aluminum or Aluminium
Finally, both words aluminum and aluminium are true, and it may differ according to the writer and reader. And this doesn’t change the fact that aluminium is a rare and valuable metal type that has wide use of area today.