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Author: Subject: Extraction of Boron
Eddygp
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[*] posted on 6-5-2012 at 03:58
Extraction of Boron


I would like to know how to extract boron from different things, for example borate minerals, boric acid in insecticides...

I saw a video about boron extraction in YouTube, but I think it might yield very little boron and moreover, it will have a lot of impurities from the other products used. Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QBCyOrjR2o




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kristofvagyok
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[*] posted on 6-5-2012 at 04:18


The extraction of boric acid from an insecticide is quite easy. Mix it with a larger amount of methanol, add a little cc. sulfuric acid and boil. The trimethyl-borate will come over and everything else what you don't need will remain in the distilling flask.

The purification of the triMe-borate cold be done by distilling it from cc acids, P2O5 ect. And to get back boric acid, just mix with a little basic water.

Extraction of boron from minerals is a hard work with a little result if the minerals You use is not borax. From borax it goes on a similar way as above, the difference would be just to mix it first with a large amount of cc. acid to get the "free" boric acid and then add the methanol and distill.

[Edited on 6-5-2012 by kristofvagyok]




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blogfast25
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[*] posted on 6-5-2012 at 08:43


There's a small amount of boron in neodymium magnets (composition: Nd2Fe14B). Dissolving a neomagnet in H2SO4 or HCl leaves behind most of the black/blown boron (I've seen it).

MrHomeScientist's method (video) could easily be improved upon to yield purer boron. Boric acid is very OTC and doesn't need to be extracted or worked up, only dried thoroughly. And instead of running the 'termite' in sand, do it in an expendable crucible (embedded in dry sand). Then gently simmer the crude boron in 37 % HCL for a prolonged time to dissolve all MgO, residual Mg or magnesium boride. That should give a reasonably pure boron product. Yield could be as high as 90 % of theory.

[Edited on 6-5-2012 by blogfast25]




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Eddygp
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[*] posted on 6-5-2012 at 12:13


Would the boron extracted from insecticide be useful not only for pyrotechnics, but also for chemistry?
EDIT: I mean the erlenmeyer or test tube chemistry, not the flame tests.

[Edited on 6-5-2012 by Eddygp]




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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 7-5-2012 at 07:05


All of blogfast's recommendations are good ones for improving my method, definitely. I mention one or two of those in the comments someplace. The only real impurities are the sand I reacted it on, and bits of the red clay plate from the first step. Take a look at the video description - there's a large number of reactions that happen when digesting the products in acid, which remove everything else that might have been generated in the reaction. The only insoluble thing left will be elemental boron. "Melting" the boric acid on a metal plate, and using an expendible crucible as blogfast suggests are simple fixes that would increase purity quite a bit. One of these days I'd like to redo a lot of my videos with improved methods, this being one of them.
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[*] posted on 7-5-2012 at 13:33


Hi, Mr HS.

As the dehydration of boric acid to boron trioxide requires only about 300 C or so it could be worth trying the dehydration step on a cheap Teflon coated pan, in order to reduce stickiness or contamination of the boron trioxide.

Copper too is unlikely to be attacked by the oxide but it may stick badly nonetheless.




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[*] posted on 7-5-2012 at 13:38


@ Mrhomescientist - I noticed in the comments there was discussion about using CaCO3. I thought about this, and it seems likely there would be side reaction of this kind:

CaCO3 ----(heat)-----> CaO + CO2
CO2 + 2Mg -------> C + 2MgO (i.e., 'carbon dioxide thermite')
C + O2 --------> CO2
and so on. I don't have the energies for these reactions handy and don't feel like sitting down and calculating anything at the moment, but I'm sure CaCO3 is not an idle spectator in that reaction.

Am also wondering if you wouldn't get boron carbide in that reaction mixture.

I noticed the comments on YouTube can be pretty incredible at times. (As in, trollish). ( "Holy Terrorist?" seriously? )

@ Eddygp: Boric oxide is a useful drying agent as I recall. There's also boron nitride and another pretty easy-to-make compound (can't think of it at the moment). Actually someone on here can probably think of more than a couple, besides the trimethyl borate etc.
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Eddygp
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[*] posted on 8-5-2012 at 09:51


Boron tribromide :P



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