Aluminum Sulfate

Uses Of Aluminum Sulfate

Aluminum sulfate has many different uses in day-to-day life, as well as being used in several essential industries. In fact, you probably come into contact with it on a daily basis without even knowing it!

Water Treatment

One of the most important uses of aluminum sulfate is in water treatment and purification. When added to water, it causes microscopic impurities to clump together into larger and larger particles. These clumps of impurities will then settle to the bottom of the container or at least get large enough to filter them out of the water.

This makes the water safer to drink. On the same principle, aluminum sulfate is also sometimes used in swimming pools to decrease the cloudiness of the water.

Aluminum Sulfate Household Uses

Some of the most common uses of aluminum sulfate are found within the home.

The compound is often found in baking soda, although there’s some controversy over whether it’s appropriate to add aluminum to the diet.

Some antiperspirants contain aluminum sulfate because of its antibacterial properties, although as of 2005 the FDA does not recognize it as a wetness reducer.

Finally, the compound is the astringent ingredient in styptic pencils, which are designed to stop small cuts from bleeding.


Other interesting uses of aluminum sulfate around the house are in gardening, aluminum sulfate is extremely acidic, and it’s sometimes added to very alkaline soils to balance the pH of plants.

When aluminum sulfate comes into contact with water, it forms aluminum hydroxide and a diluted sulfuric acid solution, which alters the soil acidity.

Gardeners who plant hydrangeas apply this property to change the flower color (blue or pink) of the hydrangeas since this plant is very sensitive to soil pH.

Dyeing Fabrics

Another one of the many uses of aluminum sulfate is in dyeing and printing on cloth.

When dissolved in a large amount of water that has a neutral or slightly alkaline pH, the compound produces a gooey substance, aluminum hydroxide.

The gooey substance helps dyes stick to the cloth fibers by making the dye water insoluble.

The role of aluminum sulfate, then, is as a dye “fixer,” which means that it combines with the molecular structure of the dye and the fabric so the dye doesn’t run out when the fabric gets wet.

Paper Making

In the past, aluminum sulfate was used in making paper, although synthetic agents have mostly replaced it. The aluminum sulfate helped to size the paper.

In this process, aluminum sulfate was combined with rosin soap to change the absorbency of the paper. This changes the ink-absorbing properties of the paper.

Using aluminum sulfate means that the paper was made under acidic conditions. The use of synthetic sizing agents means that acid-free paper can be produced.

The acid-free paper does not break down as fast as paper sized with acid.

Though you may not have known it, aluminum sulfate is used to make many products you use daily. Even the water you drink is filtered using aluminum sulfate!

* Aluminum sulfate regeneration from surface water treatment waste in Cairo, Egypt


The world needs to adapt to recycling and reusing water due to limited resources. So, decision-makers and policy leaders should use sustainable practices to improve protection and pollution remediation.

Aluminum sulfate is used for surface water treatment, to waste sludge being disposed into water bodies, causing environmental pollution.

Coagulants’ regeneration from sludge improves water quality and reuse options. Organics accumulation is the primary concern regarding coagulant regeneration, using acidification.

Our study investigated the raw water quality, aluminum-sulfate, and sludge and evaluated its influence on coagulant recovery, using acidification, from eight water treatment plants (WTPs) in Cairo, Egypt.

The significant elements in the tested sludge were aluminum with a concentration range of 86.65-688.85 mg/g sludge in El-Rawda and Embaba and iron with a concentration range of 9.45-7.45 mg/g in Shamal Helwan and El-Fostat. Recovery percentages of aluminum, iron, manganese, and strontium recorded the highest values at 97%, 89%, 89%, and 92% for Embaba, Rod El-Farag, Embaba, and El-Rawda, respectively.

The correlation between metal concentration and recovery was insignificant in the studied matrix and conditions for the four metals. Total organic carbon (TOC) transfer into recovered solutions was maximum in El-Fostat (82.6%) and minimum in Embaba (36.7%).

The TOC transfer percentage depends on the matrix of the sludge, The best location for coagulant recovery is at the Embaba WTP, where there were minimum organics transfer and maximum Al recovery.

Chemical Characteristics:
1Al2O317.0% +/-0.5
2Insoluble matter0.50%


Element limits:
(mg/kg aluminum)
1Arsenic (AS)2.00
2Cadmium (Cd)8.30
3Chromium (Cr)115.5
4Mercury (Hg)0.09
5Nickel (Ni)125
6Lead (Pb)40.0
7Antimony (Sb)1.30
8Selenium (Se)1.20


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