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Boron (B): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? B
What is the atomic number? 5
What is the atomic weight? 10.811
What is the melting point in Celsius? 2300
What is the boiling point in Celsius? 2550
What is the density (g/cm3) 2.34
What year was it discovered? 1808
Who discovered the element?
“Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac
Louis-Jaques Thénard
Sir Humphry Davy”

What group is the element in? 13
What is the electron configuration? [He] 2s2 2p1
What is the ionization energy? 8.298
What element category is it in? Metalloids

Where is Boron Found?

The element is not found free in nature, but occurs as orthoboric acid usually found in certain volcanic spring waters and as borates in boron and colemantie. Ulexite, another boron mineral, is interesting as it is nature’s own version of “fiber optics.” Important sources of boron are ore rasorite (kernite) and tincal (borax ore). Both of these ores are found in the Mojave Desert. Tincal is the most important source of boron from the Mojave. Extensive borax deposits are also found in Turkey.

What is Boron Used For?

Amorphous boron is used in pyrotechnic flares to provide a distinctive green color, and in rockets as an igniter. By far the most commercially important boron compound in terms of dollar sales is Na2B4O7.5H2O which is used in the manufacture of insulation fiberglass. Boric acid is also an important boron compound with major markets in textile products. While still other boron compounds show promise in treating arthritis in humans.

Boron also has lubricating properties similar to graphite. The hydrides are easily oxidized with considerable energy liberation, and have been studied for use as rocket fuels. Demand is increasing for boron filaments, a high-strength, lightweight material chiefly employed for advanced aerospace structures.