Abstract The elaboration of biogeochemical cycles for elements which are known to be essential for life has enabled a broad appreciation of the homeostatic mechanisms which underlie element essentiality. In particular they can be used effectively to identify any part played by human activities in element cycling and to predict how such activities might impact upon the lithospheric and biospheric availability of an element in the future. The same criteria were the driving force behind the construction of a biogeochemical cycle for aluminium, a non-essential element which is a known ecotoxicant and a suspected health risk in humans. The purpose of this exercise was to examine the concept of a biogeochemical cycle for aluminium and not to review the biogeochemistry of this element. The cycle as presented is rudimentary and qualitative though, even in this nascent form, it is informative and predictive and, for these reasons alone, it is deserving of future quantification. A fully fledged biogeochemical cycle for aluminium should explain the biospheric abundance of this element and whether we should expect its (continued) active involvement in biochemical evolution.