Boric acid (H3BO3) is the most readily available boron compound.
Boric acid is quoted as being 'an acid by name only' and is even too weak to react with solids such as copper carbonate. It does not produce protons in water: it instead sequesters hydroxide ions from solution, forming H3O and B(OH)4-
- 2 H3BO3 + 3 Mg → 2 B + 3 MgO + 3 H2O
Reaction with alkali hydroxides will form the borate salts.
Boric acid is only moderately soluble in water. It is also slightly soluble in lower alcohols and acetone.
The easiest mode of acquisition is in department or hardware stores, where it is sold in relatively pure form as roach killer or other pesticides. It can also be very cheaply purchased online.
- Making trimethyl borate
- Making boron trioxide, an intermediate in the production of elemental boron
- Make elemental boron
Boric acid should not be consumed or inhaled in large amounts. Long term exposure should be limited.
Boric acid kills insects readily - it is often marketed as roach killer.
No special storage is required.
Small amounts of boric acid can be poured down the drain, as is poses little toxicity to the environment. Larger quantities should be taken to disposal facilities.