What Is Borax and How Is It Used?
Borax specimens are translucent when fresh, but eventually lose water in their chemical structure and turn opaque, developing a white powder on their surfaces. If allowed to dehydrate, they will eventually crumble into a white powder. Because of this property, known as efflorescence, Borax is not commonly seen in collections. Feb 16, · The term “borax” is used to refer both to a mineral and to a refined compound with numerous applications. The mineral takes the form of colorless to white soft crystals, which can sometimes be tinged with brown, yellow, or green. When struck against another material, borax leaves a crumbly white streak.
The mineral takes the form of colorless to white soft crystals, which can sometimes be tinged whxt brown, yellow, or green. When struck against lime material, borax leaves a crumbly white streak.
The substance is also known as sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate, and it has been known to humans for thousands of years. The name comes from a Persian word, burakwhich was used to refer to borax and other borate salts in the Middle How to lower cpk levels naturally, picked up by the Romans, and adopted by the Middle English. Borax and related salts were used in the preservation of both food and mummies, as well as to make pottery glazes in China and as a cleaning material.
In Medieval Europe, it was used as a flux in soldering, to scour metal before it was welded together. Borax is still used for similar purposes today, although it is more heavily refined for vorax. While borax is not violently toxic, it can cause skin reactions.
Ingestion is also not advised, as even small amounts are not beneficial to human health. Around the house, it can be useful for cleaning, laundry brightening, and as an insecticide or pesticide. Borax is also used in the manufacture of fire retardants, antiseptics, and fungicides. In the laboratory, the compound may be used as a buffer for chemical reactionssince it is a non-reactive base and will keep chemical solutions stable.
Naturally occurring borax blrax a high percentage of water. As the water evaporates, the mineral becomes more white and crumbly. If allowed to dehydrate, it will turn into tincalconite. When refined for use, borax is usually broken down and mixed with water, along with a catalyst that will cause the mineral to dissolve. Pure crystals of borax will reform, and be ready for packaging or further refining with other chemicals.
Kernite, another chemical compound which contains boron, is also refined into borax. When mixed with sulfuric acidborax becomes boric acid. It is also used as a mild antisepticand as an eye solution for people experiencing eye irritation. Boric acid is also marketed as an alternative insecticide, since it is more gentle than some chemical compounds. Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer.
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Jan 31, · Borax is a natural mineral with a chemical formula Na 2 B 4 O 7 • 10H 2 O. Borax also is known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. It is one of the most important boron compounds. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) name for borax is sodium tetraborate datmixloves.comted Reading Time: 3 mins. Aug 05, · Borax is a white powdery substance that is also called sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. Borax is described as a borate-mineral concentrate that has a number of uses in heavy industry and around the home. (1)Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins. Jan 01, · Borax has a pH of , placing it roughly halfway between baking soda and washing soda on the pH scale. Unlike baking soda and washing soda, borax is mined instead of manufactured. The majority of household borax comes from dried lakes in California and Turkey, and popular brands like 20 Mule Team Borax advertise it primarily as a laundry booster.
View All Videos View Minerals. The Mineral borax. Borax occurs in arid regions, forming from evaporation of saline lake s. Borax is also synthetically formed as a by-product of mining operations of borate deposits, and most of the specimens from the famous mine at Boron, California, are formed this way.
The first Borax specimens came several dry lake deposit s in Tibet. They were shipped in large quantities by ancient caravans for profit. Much greater deposits were later found in the southwestern U. Borax specimens are translucent when fresh, but eventually lose water in their chemical structure and turn opaque, developing a white powder on their surfaces. If allowed to dehydrate, they will eventually crumble into a white powder.
Because of this property, known as efflorescence , Borax is not commonly seen in collections. When a Borax specimen loses water, it alter s into a new mineral called Tincalconite , which contains the same elements as Borax but has half the water, and crystallize s in a different crystal system. Let us know how we can update this page Click for more details. We strive for accurate content and locality information.
If you feel any of the content is incorrect, or if you feel we are missing vital locality information, please fill out the form below so we can update the site. If you are requesting a locality be added, please only include significant locality occurences for the mineral. About Minerals. Link Directory Donations Mobile Site. Chemical Formula. Hydrous sodium borate. Colorless, white, light gray. Also in light tints of blue, green, and yellow.
Crystal System. Crystal Forms and Aggregates. As tall or stubby prismatic crystals. Crystals are generally well-formed and can be quite large.
They are usually in disorganized groupings and sometimes striated. Also earthy and encrusting. Transparent to opaque. Specific Gravity. Vitreous to dull. Conchoidal to earthy. Other ID Marks. In Group. Borates ; Hydrous Borates. Striking Features. Taste, solubility, and occurrence. Evaporite deposits in dry lake s of arid regions. Rock Type. Popularity Prevalence Demand The old name for Borax.
May also refer to Tincalconite. The chemical borax sodium borate is essentially the same as the mineral Borax, but the chemical does not contain any water, whereas natural Borax does. The mineral Borax was the primary source for the useful chemical borax, since only the water needs to be removed from the mineral to create the chemical. However, in , the mineral Kernite was discovered in large quantities and is now the primary source of the chemical borax. Kernite contains less water in its structure than Borax.
Borax has numerous industrial uses. It is dissolved in water to form an alkaline antiseptic solution that is used as a disinfectant, detergent, and water softener. It is also used in the manufacture of ceramics, paint, glass, and coated paper. Another important use is as a flux to disintegrate undesired metal oxide stains on metals, and for this reason it is also used in welding. Borax is necessary to conduct a bead test , which is an important method of determining the presence of certain metals in a substance including minerals.
The first Borax came from the dry lake deposit s in Tibet, China. Now, much of the mined Borax is from the Southwest U. The localities there are mostly in California, in Boron, Kern Co. It is also found in Nevada in the salt marshes in Esmeralda Co.
Kernite , Ulexite , Halite , Thenardite , Hanksite. The unusual properties of Borax distinguish it from all minerals. However, the mineral it alters to, Tincalconite , is the same in appearance, and altered specimens may be incorrectly labeled as Borax. Have a question about Borax? Amazon Supply Store. Hammers, Chisels, Loupes, Cotton-filled boxes, etc. Recommended Reading. Our Recommended Book Selection at Amazon. Support Minerals.
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