What are soda cans made of?

I would like to know what chemical substances are contained in an pop can and what environmental problems can be caused by pop cans. Are there any solutions to those problems?

Soda cans are almost entirely (99%+) aluminum. Aluminum is a very reactive metal, but it forms an oxide coating which is highly resistant to corrosion. The body of the can is usually alloyed with a small amount of manganese to improve its strength and workability.

The cans take up a lot of landfill space, and energy is required to make (and collect and recycle) them. The aluminum is refined from bauxite, and bauxite mining also has an impact on the environment. Refillable containers may be one solution to the problem.

For more about the environmental impacts of aluminum cans, see learner.org's Garbage site.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu

General Chemistry Online! What are soda cans made of?

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