A method of recovering aluminum is provided. An alloy melt having Al.sub.4C.sub.3 and aluminum is provided. This mixture is cooled and then a sufficient amount of a finely dispersed gas is added to the alloy melt at a temperature of about 700.degree. C. to about 900.degree. C. The aluminum recovered is a decarbonized carbothermically produced aluminum where the step of adding a sufficient amount of the finely dispersed gas effects separation of the aluminum from the Al.sub.4C.sub.3 precipitates by flotation, resulting in two phases with the Al.sub.4C.sub.3 precipitates being the upper layer and the decarbonized aluminum being the lower layer. The aluminum is then recovered from the Al.sub.4C.sub.3 precipitates through decanting.
GOVERNMENT FUNDING STATEMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-FC36-001D13900, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.