Place of Origin:
Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthoboric acid and
acidum boricum, is a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron, which is often
used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, neutron absorber, or
precursor to other chemical compounds. It has the chemical formula H3BO3
(sometimes written B(OH)3), and exists in the form of colorless crystals or a
white powder that dissolves in water. When occurring as a mineral, it is called
Boric acid, or sassolite, is found mainly in its free state in some volcanic
districts, for example, in the Italian region of Tuscany, the Lipari Islands and
the US state of Nevada. In these volcanic settings it issues, mixed with steam,
from fissures in the ground. It is also found as a constituent of many
naturally occurring minerals – borax, boracite, ulexite (boronatrocalcite) and
colemanite. Boric acid and its salts are found in seawater. It is also found in
plants, including almost all fruits.
Boric acid was first prepared by Wilhelm Homberg (1652–1715) from borax,
by the action of mineral acids, and was given the name sal sedativum
Hombergi ("sedative salt of Homberg"). However borates, including boric
acid, have been used since the time of the ancient Greeks for cleaning,
preserving food, and other activities.
|Properties||Colorless crystal or white powder|
Boric acid may be prepared by reacting borax (sodium tetraborate
decahydrate) with a mineral acid, such as hydrochloric acid:
Na2B4O7·10H2O + 2 HCl → 4 B(OH)3 [or H3BO3] + 2 NaCl + 5 H2O
It is also formed as a by product of hydrolysis of boron trihalides and
B2H6 + 6 H2O → 2 B(OH)3 + 6 H2
BX3 + 3 H2O → B(OH)3 + 3 HX (X = Cl, Br, I)
1. Monofilament fiberglass
The primary industrial use of boric acid is in the manufacture of monofilament
fiberglass usually referred to as textile fiberglass. Textile fiberglass is used to
reinforce plastics in applications that range from boats, to industrial piping to
computer circuit boards.
2. Combination with denatured alcohol
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.
3. LCD flat panel displays
Boric acid is used in the production of the glass in LCD flat panel displays.
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