What is Borax?
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, mineral, and salt of boric acid. Powdered borax consists of soft colorless crystals that dissolve in white water. A set of closely related mineral or chemical compounds that vary in crystalline water content is called borax, and the word is often used to denote the octahydrate. Commercially available borax is partially dried.
Borax is a component of many detergents, cosmetics and enamel polishes. It is used in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound, in the manufacture of fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, to make neutron capture shields for radioactive sources, as a texturing agent in cooking, to make buffer solutions. As a crosslinking agent in children's slime, as an alkali in photo enhancers, and as a precursor for other boron compounds. It is also useful as an insecticide in combination with boric acid.
In artisanal gold mining, borax is sometimes used as part of a process known as the borax method (as flux) to eliminate the need for toxic mercury in gold extraction, although it cannot directly replace mercury. Borax is known to have been used by gold miners in parts of the Philippines in the 1900s.
Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported to the Arabian Peninsula via the Silk Road in the 8th century AD. Borax first came to be marketed and known in a wide variety of applications in the late 19th century under Francis Marion Smith's 20 Mule Team Borax trademark of Pacific Coast Borax Company.
How is borax produced?
Borax occurs naturally in evaporite deposits produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes. The most commercially important deposits are located in Turkey; Bor, California and Searles Lake. Also, borax has been found in many other places in the Southwestern United States, in the Atacama desert in Chile, in newly discovered deposits in Bolivia, and in Tibet and Romania. Borax can also be produced synthetically from other boron compounds.
Naturally occurring borax (known by the trade name Rasorite-46 in the United States and many other countries) is refined by a recrystallization process.
How does Borax look?
It exists as a white solid.
What is the molecular formula of borax?
Molecular Formula: Na2B4O7.10H2O
In which industries is Borax used?
- Cleaning products
- chemical industry
- food industry
- Iron and Steel Industry
- Glass, paper industry
What are the borax usage areas (processes)?
- Borax is used in a variety of household laundry and cleaning products, including laundry detergents, hand soap, and some teeth whitening formulas.
- Borate ions (usually supplied as boric acid) are used to make buffers in biochemical and chemical laboratories.
- Borax as a borate source has been used to take advantage of borate's ability to form complex ions with various substances in combination with other substances in water. Borate and a suitable polymer bed are used to chromatograph unglycated hemoglobin as distinct from glycated hemoglobin (mainly HbA1c), which is an indicator of prolonged hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus.
- Borax is used to soften water.
- A mixture of borax and ammonium chloride is used as flux in welding iron and steel. It lowers the melting point of the unwanted iron oxide (scale) and allows it to flow. Borax is also used when brazing jewelery metals such as gold or silver, mixing with water as a flux when it allows the molten solder to wet the metal and flow evenly into the joint. Borax is also a good fluxer for "pre-tinning" tungsten with solderable zinc. Borax is often used as a flux for forging welding.
- Borax is replacing mercury as the preferred method for extracting gold in small-scale mining facilities. This is called the borax method and is used in the Philippines.
- A rubbery polymer called slime can be made by crosslinking polyvinyl alcohol with borax. Slime is a very common shaping dough that children play with by giving it different shapes.
- Borax is used as a food additive, although it is banned in some countries such as the USA, China, Taiwan.
- Content in enamel glaze
- Glass, pottery and ceramic component
- fire retardant
- Anti-fungal compound for cellulose insulation
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- It is powdered to prevent stubborn pests in cabinets, pipe and cable entries, wall lining cavities and inaccessible places where ordinary pesticides are not desired.
- Precursor to boric acid and other borates, as well as sodium perborate monohydrate used in detergents
- Tackifying component in casein, starch and dextrin-based adhesives
- Polyvinyl acetate, precursor for boric acid, a tackifying component in polyvinyl alcohol-based adhesives
- Hardener for snake skins
- Curing agent for salmon eggs for use in sport fishing for salmon
- swimming pool buffer to control pH
- Neutron absorber used to control reactivity and stop nuclear chain reaction in nuclear reactors and spent fuel pools
- As a micronutrient fertilizer to correct boron deficient soils.
- Preservative in taxidermy
- To color the fires with a green hue
- It has traditionally been used to coat dry cured meats such as ham to improve appearance and deter flies.
- Used by blacksmiths for forging welding
- Used as a bedbug treatment (diluted in water)
What is the Borax Selling Price?
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Where Can I Buy Borax?
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