BORON (symbol B, atomic weight ii), one of the non-metallic elements, occurring in nature in the form of boracic (boric) acid, and in various borates such as borax, tincal,.
Heated with sulphuric acid and with nitric acid it is oxidized to boric acid, whilst on fusion with alkaline carbonates and hydroxides it gives a borate of the alkali metal.
It is a colourless fuming liquid boiling at 17-18° C., and is readily decomposed by water with formation of boric and hydrochloric acids.
It forms slightly coloured small crystals possessing a strong disagreeable smell, and is rapidly decomposed by water with the formation of boric acid and sulphuretted hydrogen.
A pentasulphide B2S5 is prepared, in an impure condition, by heating a solution of sulphur in carbon bisulphide with boron iodide, and forms a white crystalline powder which decomposes under the influence of water into sulphur, sulphuretted hydrogen and boric acid.
Boron trioxide B203 is the only known oxide of boron; and may be prepared by heating amorphous boron in oxygen, or better, by strongly igniting boric acid.
Boron can be estimated by precipitation as potassium fluoborate, which is insoluble in a mixture of potassium acetate and alcohol, For this purpose only boric acid or its potassium salt must be present; and to ensure this, the borate can be distilled with sulphuric acid and methyl alcohol and the volatile ester absorbed in potash.
O, which, in turn, when boiled with a solution of boric acid, gives PbB407.4H20.
The specific effect of boric acid in this respect was correctly ascertained by Stokes and Harcourt, but they mistook the effect of titanic acid.
The newer glasses, on the other hand, contain a much wider variety of chemical constituents, the most important being the oxides of barium, magnesium, aluminium and zinc, used either with or without the addition of the bases already named in reference to the older glasses, and - among acid bodies - boric anhydride (B20 3) which replaces the silica of the older glasses to a varying extent.
A high silica-content tends towards both hardness and chemical stability, and this can be further increased by the addition of small proportions of boric acid; in larger quantities, however, the latter constituent produces the opposite effect.
It combines directly with ammonia to form the compound SiF 4 2NH,, and is absorbed by dry boric acid and by many metallic oxides.
By the fusion of potassium bichromate with boric acid, and extraction of the melt with water, a residue is left which possesses a fine green colour, and is used as a pigment under the name of Guignet's green.
At high temperatures it acts as a reducing agent, reducing silica to silicon, boric acid to boron, &c. (H.
BORIC ACID, or Boracic Acid, H 3 B0 3, an acid obtained by dissolving boron trioxide in water.
The presence of boric acid or its salts has been noted in sea-water, whilst it is also said to exist in plants and especially in almost all fruits (A.
The soffioni contain a small quantity of boric acid (usually less than o 1%), together with a certain amount of ammoniacal vapours.
The operation is carried on through the entire series, until the liquor in the last basin contains about 2% of boric acid.
Artificial soffioni are sometimes prepared by boring through the rock until the fissures are reached, and the water so obtained is occasionally sufficiently impregnated with boric acid to be evaporated directly.
Boric acid is also obtained from boronatrocalcite by treatment with sulphuric acid, followed by the evaporation of the solution so obtained.
The residue is then heated in a current of superheated steam, in which the boric acid volatilizes and distils over.
Boric acid crystallizes from water in white nacreous laminae belonging to the triclinic system; it is difficultly soluble in cold water, but dissolves readily in hot water.
Its action upon turmeric is characteristic; a turmeric paper moistened with a solution of boric acid turns brown, the colour becoming much darker as the paper dries; while the addition of sodium or potassium hydroxide turns it almost black.
Boric acid is easily soluble in alcohol, and if the vapour of the solution be inflamed it burns with a characteristic vivid green colour.
Tungstic acid closely resembles molybdic acid in combining with phosphoric, arsenious, arsenic, boric, vanadic and silicic acids to form highly complex acids of which a great many salts exist.
The supply of borax is, however, mainly derived from the boric acid of Tuscany, which is fused in a reverberatory furnace with half its weight of sodium carbonate, and the mass after cooling is extracted with warm water.
An alternative method is to dissolve sodium carbonate in lead-lined steamheated pans, and add the boric acid gradually; the solution then being concentrated until the borax crystallizes.
Boric acid (q.v.) being only a weak acid, its salts readily undergo hydrolytic dissociation in aqueous solution, and this property can be readily shown with a concentrated aqueous solution of borax, for by adding litmus and then just sufficient acetic acid to turn the litmus red, the addition of a large volume of water to the solution changes the colour back to blue again.
The boric acid being scarcely ionized gives only a very small quantity of hydrogen ions, whilst the base (sodium hydroxide) produced by the hydrolysis occasioned by the dilution of the solution, being a "strong base," is highly ionized and gives a comparatively large amount of hydroxyl ions.
The boron contained in solution in the salt lakes has very probably been supplied by hot springs and solfataras of volcanic origin, such as those which at the present day charge the waters of the lagoons in Tuscany with boric acid.