What is amorphous boron?
Amorphous boron is a brown powder; whereas crystalline boron is black, extremely hard (about 9.5 on Mohs' scale), and a poor conductor at room temperature. Amorphous boron (meaning the atoms are bonded together in random order) comes in the form of a brown powder. Boron atoms can bond in a number of different types of crystal networks called allotropes. Crystalline boron is black in color and is extremely hard.
How do you get amorphous boron?
Boron is obtained by heating borax (Na2B4O7·10H2O) with carbon, although other methods are used if high-purity boron is required. Traditional methods to prepare amorphous boron powder include molten salt electrolysis, diborane pyrolysis, boron hydrogen chloride reduction, and magnesium thermal reduction. With the potassium chloride-potassium fluoroborate-boron oxide molten salt system. Crystalline boron may be prepared by the vapor phase reduction of boron trichloride or tribromide with hydrogen on electrically heated filaments. Amorphous boron is a brown powder that is not the pure form of boron. It is obtained by reduction of boric oxide with metals such as magnesium or aluminum and the product is contaminated with metal borides.
What are some characteristics of boron?
Boron is a metalloid, intermediate between metals and non-metals. It exists in many polymorphs (different crystal lattice structures), some more metallic than others. Metallic boron is extremely hard and has a very high melting point. Boron does not generally make ionic bonds, it forms stable covalent bonds.
Where does boron come from naturally?
Boron occurs as an orthoboric acid in some volcanic spring waters, and as borates in the minerals borax and colemanite. Extensive borax deposits are found in Turkey. However, by far the most important source of boron is rasorite. This is found in the Mojave Desert in California, USA.
What is amorphous boron used for?
Amorphous boron is used as a rocket fuel igniter and in pyrotechnic flares. It gives the flares a distinctive green color. The most important compounds of boron are boric (or boracic) acid, borax (sodium borate), and boric oxide. These can be found in eye drops, mild antiseptics, washing powders, and tile glazes.
Is Amorphous boron poisonous or hazardous?
Large quantities of boron can also cause poisoning. Signs of Amorphous boron poisoning include skin inflammation and peeling, irritability, tremors, convulsions, weakness, headaches, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
Boron is primarily used in chemical compounds. About half of all boron consumed globally is an additive in fiberglass for insulation and structural materials. The next leading use is in polymers and ceramics in high-strength, lightweight structural, and heat-resistant materials. Borosilicate glass is desired for its greater strength and thermal shock resistance than ordinary soda-lime glass. Boron as sodium perborate is used as a bleach. A small amount of boron is used as a dopant in semiconductors, and reagent intermediates in the synthesis of organic fine chemicals. A few boron-containing organic pharmaceuticals are used or are in the study. Natural boron is composed of two stable isotopes, one of which (boron-10) has a number of uses as a neutron-capturing agent.
The intersection of boron with biology is very small. Consensus on boron is essential for mammalian life is lacking. Borates have low toxicity in mammals (similar to table salt) but are more toxic to arthropods and are occasionally used as insecticides. Boron-containing organic antibiotics are known. Although only traces are required, boron is an essential plant nutrient.
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