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Ulexite
Boric acid
Borax
Tantalium
 

Ulexite

The Mineral ULEXITE
Chemistry: NaCaB5O6(OH)6-5H2O, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Borate Hydroxide
Class: Carbonates
Subclass: Borates
ULEXITE USES:
Agriculture field: Because of it's  properties, ulexite gets great results on agriculture as a good component for making different micronutrients and fertilizers.
Talking about agriculture, ulexite can offer it's goodness both products for microfoliar aplications and fertilizers to soil aplications.
Fries: Calcined ulexite is also used to make fries not only to ceramic industry but also for fiberglass industry.
Boric acid and borax production: Ulexite is also a necessary element to make other products related to borates family. As for example:
To make borax (decahydrate borax, pentahydrate borax or anhydrous borax) or to make boric acid

Ulexite, like other borates, is a structurally complex mineral. The basic structure of ulexite contains chains of sodium, water and hydroxide octahedrons linked in endless chains. The chains are linked together by calcium, water, hydroxide and oxygen polyhedra and massive boron units. The basic boron unit has a formula of B5O6(OH)6 and a charge of negative three (-3). It is composed of three borate tetrahedrons and two borate triangular groups.
Ulexite is found with the mineral borax and is directly deposited in arid regions from the evaporation of water in intermittent lakes called playas. The playas form only during rainy seasons due to runoff from nearby mountains. The runoff is rich in the element boron and is highly concentrated by evaporation in the arid climate. Eventually the concentration is so great that crystals of ulexite, borax and other boron minerals form and accumulate to great thickness.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Color is white or gray to colorless.
Luster is silky.
Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
Crystal System is triclinic; bar 1
Crystal Habits include tufts of acicular crystals called "cotton balls". Also as vein-like masses of parallel fibrous crystals.
Cleavage is perfect in one direction.
Fracture is fibrous.
Hardness is 2 (softer than a fingernail)
Specific Gravity is approximately 1.97 (very low density)
Streak is white.
Associated Minerals are borax, colemanite, hydroboracite and other borate minerals.
Other Characteristics: similar borate minerals have an alkaline taste, while ulexite is tasteless.
Notable Occurrences include several localities in California and Nevada, USA; Uyuni Potosi Bolivia, Tarapaca, Chile and Kazakhstan.
Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, associations, locality, density, unique optical property, and hardness.

 

 
Technical Information
Name of product : Ulexite (Boronatrocalcita)
Commercial name : Ulex 35 - Ulex 45
ULEXITE 
TECHNICAL DATA
Product Sodium Borate & Calcium
Name ULEXITE - Boronatrocalcita
Formula Ca Na B5O9 8 H2O2
Code -----ULEX - 35 -------------------ULEX - 45
Law 30% a 38% B2O3 - -------45% a 48% B2O3
Packing Bags 25Kg, 50 Kg.
 
PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
Content
 Especification
Value
Density
0.70 - 0.80 TM/M
Molecular weight
406
Specific gravity
2,00
Hardness (Mohs)
2,50
Melting Point
950 C
Granulometry
90% Mesh No 10
Color
White Gray

CHEMICAL ANALYSIS
Content

Boron                       B

13.97%

Sulfate                     SO3

1.10%

Sodium oxide         Na2O

10.50%

Sodium                    Na

7.76%

Calcium                   Ca

9.78%

Magnesium oxide MgO

0.60%

Aluminum oxide   Al2O3

0.13%

Silicon oxide          SiO2

1.50%

Arsenic oxide         As2O3

< 0,017 mg/Kg

Arsenic                    As

< 130 mg/Kg

Cadmium                Cd

< 0,8 mg/Kg

Lead                         Pb

< 10,8 mg/Kg

Nickel                      Ni

< 1,05 mg/Kg

Chromium              Cr

< 10 mg/Kg

Mercury                 Hg

< 0,1 mg/Kg

Solubility in citric acid to 2%

98.00%

Ulexite 35%
Based on 35% Ulexite law, relative humidity
 

Parameter

Minimun

Maximun

BORON OXIDE B2O3

30%

35%

Na2O

10%

13%

CaO

10%

15%

SiO2

0,030%

0,045%

MOISTURE (Humidity)

5%

10%

Ulexite 45%

Parameter

Minimun

Maximun

BORON OXIDE B2O3

45%

48%

CHLORINE Cl

7%

9%

SULPHATE SO4

0.2%

0.40%

Arsenic As ppm

45ppm

70ppm

MOISTURE (Humidity)

0%

0.10

ULEX 35% Powder
ulexite
ULEXITE
 
 

 

Boric acid

Boric acid, also called boracic acid or orthoboric acid or Acidum Boricum, is a mild acid often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, in nuclear power plants to control the fission rate of uranium, and as a precursor of other chemical compounds.
It exists in the form of colorless crystals or a white powder and dissolves in water. It has the chemical formula H3BO3, sometimes written B(OH)3. When occurring as a mineral, it is called sassolite.

Preparation: Boric acid is produced mainly from borate minerals by the reaction with sulfuric acid. The largest source of borates in the world is an open-pit mine in Boron, California, USA.

Crystal structure: Crystalline boric acid consists of layers of B(OH)3 molecules held together by hydrogen bonds. The distance between two adjacent layers is 318 pm.

Other names
Orthoboric acid,
Boracic acid,
Sassolite,
Optibor®,
Borofax®
CAS number: 10043-35-3
Properties
Molecular formula : B(OH)3
Molar mass: 61.832 g/mol
Appearance: White crystalline solid
Density: 1.435 g/cm³, solid.
Melting point: 169°C decomp.

Solubility in water: 5.7 g/100 ml (25°C)
Acidity (pKa) : 9.24 (see text)
 
Name
Boric Acid
Molecular formula
H3BO3
CAS No.
10043-35-3
Quantity Standard
GB538-2006
Appearance
White powder crystals

Specification

Boric Acid

Grade
Excellent
Content  % 99.6min
Water insoluble ≤ % 0.01
Water solubility miscible
Cl-≤ % 0.05
Sulfate≤% 0.03
Fe3+ %≤% 0.0002
Packing
25KG ppbag 20MT in one 20’FCL

 

Boric Acid
 
Borax
 
 

Uses

Medicinal uses : It can be used as an antiseptic for minor burns or cuts and is sometimes used in dressings or salves or is applied in a very dilute solution as an eye wash. (1.5% solution or 1 tbsp per quart of boiled water has been suggested for the latter.)
As an anti-bacterial compound, boric acid can also be used as an acne treatment.
Boric acid can be used to treat yeast and fungal infections such as candidiasis (vaginal yeast infections) by inserting a vaginal suppository containing 600 mg of boric acid daily for 14 days (PMID 10865926). It is also used as prevention of athlete's foot, by inserting powder in the socks or stockings, and in solution can be used to treat some kinds of otitis externa (ear infection) in both humans and animals. The preservative in urine sample bottles (red cap) in the UK is boric acid.

Boric acid has the distinction of being the only known acid that is actually beneficial (rather than harmful) to the eyes, and as such is used by ophthalmologists and in some commercial eye drops.

Insecticidal use: Boric acid was first registered as an insecticide in 1948 by the EPA for control of cockroaches, termites, fire ants, fleas, silverfish, and many other insects. It acts as a stomach poison affecting the insects' metabolism, and the dry powder is abrasive to the insects' exoskeleton.

Boric acid may be used either in an insect bait formulation containing a feed attractant or as a dry powder. The powder may be injected into cracks and crevices, where it forms a fine layer of dust. Insects travel through the boric acid dust, which adheres to their legs. When the insects groom themselves, they then ingest the poison, which causes death three to ten days later of starvation and dehydration.

Preservative Use: In combination with its use as an insecticide it also prevents and destroys existing wet and dry rot in timbers. It can be used in combination with an ethylene glycol carrier to treat external wood against fungal and insect attack.
It is possible to buy Borate impregnated rods for insertion into wood via drill holes where damp and moisture is known to collect and sit.
It is available in a gel form and injectable paste form for treating rot affected wood without the need to replace the timber. You can buy concentrates of Borate based timber treatments which can be sprayed or dipped. Surface treatments prevent slime, mycelium and algae growth even in marine environments. There is a wide range of manufacturers of wood preservers based on boric acid/ borate mineral salts.

Industrial uses : Boric acid is used in nuclear power plants to slow down the rate at which fission is occurring. Fission chain reactions are generally driven by the amount of neutrons present (as products from previous fissions). Natural Boron is 20% Boron-10 and about 80% Boron-11. Boron-10 has a high cross-section for absorption of low energy (thermal) neutrons.
By adding more boric acid to the reactor coolant which circulates through the reactor, the probability that a neutron can survive to cause fission is reduced. Therefore, boric acid concentration changes effectively regulate the rate of fissions taking place in the reactor. This is only done in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR's).
Boron is also dissolved into the spent fuel pools containing used uranium rods. The concentration is high enough to keep fissions at a minimum.

In the jewelry industry, boric acid is often used in combination with denatured alcohol to reduce surface oxidation and firescale from forming on metals during annealing and soldering operations.

It is also used in the manufacturing of remming mass, a fine silica-containing powder used for producing induction furnace linings and ceramics.

Miscellaneous uses: Borates including boric acid have been used since the time of the Greeks for cleaning, preserving food, and other activities.

Silly Putty was originally made by adding boric acid to silicone oil.
Now name-brand Silly Putty also contains significant amounts of elemental silicon (silicon binds to the silicone and allows the material to bounce 20% higher).

Lithium borate is the lithium salt of boric acid and is used in the laboratory as buffer for gel. TBE buffer is widely used for the electrophoresis of nucleic acids and has a higher buffer capacity than a TAE Buffer. It can be used for DNA and RNA polyacrylamide and agarose gel electrophoresis.

It is used in pyrotechnics to prevent the amide-forming reaction between aluminum and nitrates. A small amount of boric acid is added to the composition to neutralize alkaline amides that can react with the aluminum.

Boric acid is popularly used among fire jugglers and fire spinners dissolved in methanol to give a deep green flame.

It is also used in India and across the world to dust down Carrom boards to decrease friction and increase speed of play.

Boric acid is also used in special effects. When Boric Acid is combined with an alcohol (usually ethanol), it produces a green flame when burned.

Ulexite
Ulexite
Ulexite
ULEXITE
 

 

Borax

Chemistry: Na2B4O7 -10H2O, Hydrated sodium borate.
Class: Carbonates
Subclass: Borates
Uses: an ore of boron and as a source of borax (a cleaning agent and useful industrial chemical)

Borax is a complex borate mineral that is found in playa lakes and other evaporite deposits. The basic structure of borax contains chains of interlocking BO2(OH) triangles and BO3(OH) tetrahedrons bonded to chains of sodium and water octahedrons.
Most old mineral specimens of borax are chalky white due to a chemical reaction from dehydration. They have actually altered (at least on their surface) to the mineral tincalconite, Na2 B4O7-5H2O, with the loss of water.
This kind of alteration from one mineral to another leaves the original shape of the crystal. Minerologists refer to this as a pseudomorph, or "fake shape", because the tincalconite has the crystal shape of the predecessing borax.
Borax is directly deposited in arid regions from the evaporation of water in intermittent lakes called playas. The playas form only during rainy seasons due to runoff from adjacent mountains. The runoff is rich in the element boron and is highly concentrated by evaporation in the arid climate.
Eventually the concentration is so great that crystals of borax and other boron minerals form.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Color is white to clear.
Luster is vitreous.
Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
Crystal System is monoclinic; 2/m
Crystal Habits include the blocky to prismatic crystals with a nearly square cross section. Also massive and as crusts.
Cleavage is perfect in one direction.
Fracture is conchoidal.
Hardness is 2 - 2.5
Specific Gravity is approximately 1.7 (very light)
Streak is white.
Associated Minerals are calcite, halite, hanksite, colemanite, ulexite and other borates.
Other Characteristics: a sweet alkaline taste, alters to chalky white tincalconite with dehydration.
Notable Occurrences include Trona, Boron, Death Valley and other California localities; Andes Mountains; Turkey and Tibet.
Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, color, associations, locality, density and hardness.

 
Lake Colorado with Borax
salt
Uyuni - Bolivia

 

 

Tantalium

Tantalum is a hard, grayish-blue, metallic element.
Its atomic number is 73 and its symbol is Ta. It has a very high melting point (2996°C). This melting point is exceeded only by that of carbon, tungsten, and rhenium. Tantalum is remarkably resistant to attack by air, water and most acids.

Tantalum was discovered in 1802 by the Swedish scientist Anders Ekeberg.

Commercial use of tantalum began in 1903 with the production of tantalum wire.

Tantalum is mostly found with the element niobium. The two elements are so similar that they are very difficult to isolate from one another. Tantalum was named after the Greek god, Tantalus. Niobium, discovered before tantalum (1801), was named after the daughter of Tantalus, Niobe.

Sources

Tantalum is recovered from ore minerals such as columbite and tantalite.
The United States has no high-grade tantalum ores. In fact, no significant tantalum ores have been mined in the U.S. since 1959.

About 20% of the tantalum used in the United States comes from recycling. The rest must be imported. Recent major sources for tantalum imports were Australia, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Thailand, and others.

Uses

The electronics industry uses most of the tantalum consumed to make electronic components (tantalum capacitors). Since tantalum is so resistant to corrosion, it is used to make surgical instruments and medical equipment such as rods to attach to broken bones, skull plates, and wire meshes to help repair nerves and muscles.

Because it has such a very high melting point, it is alloyed (that is, mixed with) other metals to create alloys that are needed for very high temperature applications. Tantalum is also used in camera lenses.

Substitutes and Alternative Sources

Columbium can be used in place of tantalum to make carbides. Columbium, hafnium, iridium, molybdenum, rhenium and tungsten can be used for high-temperature situations. Aluminum and ceramics can be used in place of tantalum in electronic capacitors. The problem is, however, that most of these substitutes are not as effective as tantalum in some of these applications.

Tantalite, [(Fe, Mn) Ta2O6], is a mineral that is close to columbite.
In fact, the two are often grouped together as a semi-singular mineral called columbite-tantalite in many mineral guides. But Tantalite has a much greater specific gravity than Columbite (8.0+ compared to Columbite's 5.2).

Tantalite is black to brown in both color and streak. Manganese rich tantalites can be brown and translucent. Tantalite has been found in Namibia, Nigeria, Canada, Madagascar, northern Europe, and Maine, California, Colorado and Virginia in the United States. Brazil has the world's largest reserve of Tantalite (52.1%). As at 2006, 75% of world tantalite production comes from Australia.

tantalite
Tantalum
 
tantalite

Tantalite is used as an ore of tantalum and niobium and as mineral specimens and occur in pegmatites. Some specimens may show a bluish iridescent tarnish and have demonstrated weak magnetism.

Tantalite is largely found mixed with columbite in an ore called coltan.

 

 

 


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