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Boron

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Boron
Boron
General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::B
Atomic Number Atomic number::5
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::10.811 g/mol
Chemical series Metalloids
Appearance Black/Brown
Group, Period, Block 13, 2, p
Electron configuration 1s2, 2s2, 2p1
Electrons per shell 2, 3
Electron shell Boron.png
CAS number CAS number::7440-42-8
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density Density::2.34 g/ml
Melting point Melting point::2349 K
Boiling point Boiling point::400 K
Isotopes of Boron
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
10B 19.9(7)% 10B is stable with 5 neutrons.
11B 80.1(7)% 11B is stable with 6 neutrons.
All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Boron is as a chemical element known by the atomic symbol B. It was first isolated in 1808. Prior to its discovery scientists were not even sure that Boron existed as a unique element on its own until those scientists made the discovery. It has many interesting properties, such as being a poor electrical conductor at room temperature, but when the temperature is higher, it becomes a better conductor. Scientists know it is the only non-metal of the group 13 in the periodic table of elements. Boron is also never found in nature as its elemental form, only found in compounds. Boron has many uses, including treating arthritis, and being used for pyrotechnic causes because of the green light it can give off.

Properties

Boron has many interesting optical properties. One would be that elemental Boron gives off infrared light. At room temperature, Boron is a poor electrical conductor. However, when the temperature is risen significantly, Boron becomes a good electrical conductor. The energy band gap of elemental Boron is higher than that of Silicon or Germanium, coming in at 1.50 to 1.56 eV.

The properties of Boron tell scientists many important things about it. Scientists know it is the only non-metal of the group 13 in the periodic table of elements. The melting point of Boron is 2076°C, and the boiling point is 3927 °C. These properties tell scientists how to use the element Boron, or how not to. [1]

Occurrences

A Picture of Boron

Boron is never found in nature in its elemental form. One of, if not it’s most important source, is in rasorite(a mineral found in the Mojave Desert in California). It is also found in extensive borax deposits in Turkey, as well as Tourmaline and Kernite. [2]. Boron is quite reactive, explaining why it is not found in its natural, elemental form in nature. It needs to be found in a compound. Since Boron only has three valence electrons, other elements must combine with it in order for its outer shell to be complete. Boron's abundance in the earth's crust is roughly in the middle of the elements in their order from least to greatest amount. The two greatest countries that produce boron are Turkey and the United States. Of the boron that comes from the United States, most of that comes from three of California's counties: Kern, San Bernadino, and Inyo. [3].

Uses

One use for Boron is possibly treating arthritis, although that is still being examined. Amorphous Boron can be used for pyrotechnic devices because it has a green color to it. This green effect is one of the main uses for Boron because of how often fireworks are used. Boron nitride is an extremely hard compound that can be used as an insulator,and it can conduct heat. It also works as a lubricant that has properties similar to that of graphite. Boron compounds are often used to make enamels and borosilicate glasses. The compound Borax can be used as a cleansing flux in welding and also a water softener in washing powders. Boron filaments are used in aerospace work, because they can be very light.Boric Acid is used in North America as a control method for silverfish, cockroaches, ants, fleas, and other insects. [4]

Boron can be used for many different helpful things, like all of the above. It bonds well with many other elements because it only has three electrons in its valence shell, letting other elements come fill its outer shell. It can either lose the three electrons in its outer shell, or it can gain five electrons from a different element to fill that shell. By knowing the amount of electrons, scientists can combine other elements with it to create compounds they need.

Isolation

Sir Humphry Davy

Boron has been known as part of compounds for many many years, but it was finally isolated in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis Jacques Thenard. Scientists were not even sure that Boron existed as a unique element on its own until those scientists made the discovery. [5]. The Egyptians, Chinese, Tibetans and Arabians all have been noted to have used boron compounds long before its isolation, or as the Arabs called it, baurach. The element was isolated by Davy, Gay-Lussac, and Thenard when they prepared boron by reduction of boron trioxide with potassium and by electrolysis of moistened boric acid. Their products came out with roughly 50% purity.

The element did not get very noticed until the twentieth century. Then, it was discovered that boron formed many strange and rare compounds. In the last forty years, scientists have determined the right physical and chemical properties for boron. Producing high purity boron by the way of electrolysis and vapor deposition methods has helped scientists find these properties [6].

Video

A factual video about Boron.

References

  1. Boron-B "Lenntech" Web. October 9th, 2013. (Date-of-Access).
  2. Boron "Azom" October 21, 2013. (Date-of-access).
  3. Boron, Chemical Element-Occurence in Nature "Chemistry Explained" October 20th, 2013(Date-of-Access).
  4. Boron: uses "WebElements". Web. October 7, 2013 (Date-of-Access).
  5. Who Discovered Boron? "Discovery" October 23, 2013. (Date-of-access).
  6. Boron: History "Nautilus" October 21, 2013. (Date-of-access).