Borates


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Borates

 

salts of boric acid. For the most part, borates are not salts of boric acid H3BO3 itself but of polyboric acids n B2O3m H2O, which are not isolated in a free state (for example, tetraboric acid H2B4O7 or 2B2O3 H2O). Thus, neutralization of H3BO3 by alkalis produces sodium tetraborate, or borax:

2NaOH + 4H3BO3 = Na2B4O7 + 7H2O

Salts of alkali metals constitute most of the water-soluble borates. Borates are used for softening water, as an ingredient in laundry powders, and in the glass industry. In laboratory practice, borates are used in the preparation of buffer systems and as fluxes. Lead metaborates Pb(BO2)2 are used in the production of radiation protection screens.

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