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The Mineralogy of Boron

General Properties
Symbol:B
Atomic Number:5
Standard atomic weight (Ar):10.811(7)
Electron configuration:[He] 2s2 2p1
Photos
<
Pure crystalline boron
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.04
Atomic Radius:87 pm
Ionic Radius:27 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:801 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-27 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:covalent network
Melting Point:2348 K
Boiling Point:4273 K
Density:2.46 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:metalloid
Main isotopes of Boron
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
10B19.9(7)%stable
11B80.1(7)%stable
Main ions of Boron
NameIonExample minerals
boronB3+
borideB3-
tetrafluoborateBF4-
monoborateBO33-Sassolite
Other Information
Year Discovered:1808
Discovered By:
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac
Louis Jacques Thénard


Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, Louis Jacques Thénard
Year Isolated:1808
Isolated By:
Humphry Davy
Named For:from borax and carbon
CPK color coding:#FFB5B5
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridesboron nitrideBN+3Qingsongite
Sulfidesdiboron trisulphideB2S3+3
HydridesdiboraneB2H6+3
decaboraneB10H14
hexaborane B6H10
pentaborane B5H9
pentaborane B5H11
tetraborane B4H10
Fluoridesboron trifluorideBF3+3
diboron tetrafluorideB2F4+2
Chloridesboron trichlorideBCl3+3
diboron tetrachlorideB2Cl4+2
Bromidesboron tribromideBBr3+3
Iodidesboron triiodideBI3+3
Oxidesdiboron trioxideB2O3+3
Mineral Diversity of Boron
3. Halides5 valid mineral species
6. Borates150 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 3 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 74 valid mineral species
Total:232 valid species containing essential Boron
Geochemistry of Boron
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
B3+ solute is a micronutrient on land.
B3+ is essential to nutrition of at least some vertebrates ('essential minerals').
Elemental Abundance for Boron
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)7.0 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)9 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.0000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.5000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)4.44 x 10-6mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)4.4 x 10-6mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)1.1 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)2.1 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)2.12 x 10-5 (10%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Boron in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Boron and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Boron and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Boron.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Boron% of B mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen269 minerals with B and O98.18%26.49% higher
Hydrogen191 minerals with B and H69.71%27.51% higher
Silicon114 minerals with B and Si41.61%47.48% higher
Calcium113 minerals with B and Ca41.24%64.93% higher
Magnesium89 minerals with B and Mg32.48%132.14% higher
Aluminium76 minerals with B and Al27.74%37.47% higher
Sodium68 minerals with B and Na24.82%29.03% higher
Iron49 minerals with B and Fe17.88%22.90% lower
Fluorine36 minerals with B and F13.14%55.18% higher
Chlorine36 minerals with B and Cl13.14%71.61% higher
Manganese30 minerals with B and Mn10.95%6.80% lower
Potassium21 minerals with B and K7.66%22.14% lower
Yttrium15 minerals with B and Y5.47%105.89% higher
Barium15 minerals with B and Ba5.47%16.12% higher
Lithium13 minerals with B and Li4.74%107.94% higher
Titanium12 minerals with B and Ti4.38%37.57% lower
Carbon12 minerals with B and C4.38%41.79% lower
Cerium12 minerals with B and Ce4.38%30.48% higher
Beryllium10 minerals with B and Be3.65%61.28% higher
Sulfur8 minerals with B and S2.92%85.30% lower
Strontium8 minerals with B and Sr2.92%1.86% higher
Lanthanum7 minerals with B and La2.55%47.26% higher
Lead7 minerals with B and Pb2.55%73.74% lower
Niobium6 minerals with B and Nb2.19%36.20% lower
Tin6 minerals with B and Sn2.19%17.30% higher
Caesium6 minerals with B and Cs2.19%383.85% higher
Chromium5 minerals with B and Cr1.82%8.73% higher
Copper5 minerals with B and Cu1.82%85.66% lower
Phosphorus5 minerals with B and P1.82%83.74% lower
Arsenic5 minerals with B and As1.82%84.24% lower
Nitrogen4 minerals with B and N1.46%24.84% lower
Thorium4 minerals with B and Th1.46%61.28% higher
Vanadium4 minerals with B and V1.46%65.28% lower
Zirconium3 minerals with B and Zr1.09%55.34% lower
Tantalum3 minerals with B and Ta1.09%20.46% lower
Rubidium2 minerals with B and Rb0.73%674.16% higher
Antimony2 minerals with B and Sb0.73%85.34% lower
Uranium1 mineral with B and U0.36%92.50% lower
Neodymium1 mineral with B and Nd0.36%62.78% lower
Nickel1 mineral with B and Ni0.36%88.94% lower
Zinc1 mineral with B and Zn0.36%93.28% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with B Relative Frequency
Beryllium << Boron >> Carbon


Most widespread minerals containing Boron
This list of minerals containing Boron is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Boron mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
SchorlNa(Fe2+3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)Trigonal2553
DraviteNa(Mg3)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)Trigonal586
ElbaiteNa(Li1.5Al1.5)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)Trigonal523
DatoliteCa(HBSiO5)Monoclinic493
Axinite-(Fe)Ca2Fe2+Al2BSi4O15OHTriclinic262
Dumortierite(Al,Fe3+)7(SiO4)3(BO3)O3Orthorhombic236
UlexiteNaCa[B5O6(OH)6] · 5H2OTriclinic160
DanburiteCaB2Si2O8Orthorhombic157
ColemaniteCa[B3O4(OH)3] · H2OMonoclinic144
LudwigiteMg2Fe3+(BO3)O2Orthorhombic143
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Boron mineral species
map should go here
1Fuka mine, Fuka, Bicchu-cho (Bitchu-cho), Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture, Chugoku Region, Honshu Island, Japan22 B minerals
2Inder B deposit and salt dome, Atyrau (Gur'yev), Atyrau Province (Atyrau Oblysy; Atyrau Oblast'), Kazakhstan22 B minerals
3Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Mine (PCS Mine; Potash Corporation of America Mine), Penobsquis, Cardwell Parish, Kings Co., New Brunswick, Canada21 B minerals
4Darai-Pioz Glacier (Dara-i-Pioz; Dara-Pioz), Alai Range (Alayskiy), Tien Shan Mtn, Region of Republican Subordination, Tajikistan20 B minerals
5Tincalayu mine (Boroquimica Mine), Salar del Hombre Muerto, Los Andes department, Salta, Argentina18 B minerals
6Titovskoe B deposit, Tas-Khayakhtakh Range, Dogdo River Basin, Polar Yakutia, Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia), Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia18 B minerals
7Kramer Borate deposit, Boron, Kramer District (Kramer Borate District), Kern Co., California, USA17 B minerals
Solongo B deposit, Vitim Plateau, Buriatia Republic (Buryatia), Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye), Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia15 B minerals


Important ores of Boron
NameFormulaCrystal System
BoraxNa2(B4O5)(OH)4 · 8H2OMonoclinic
KerniteNa2[B4O6(OH)2] · 3H2OMonoclinic
UlexiteNaCa[B5O6(OH)6] · 5H2OTriclinic
ColemaniteCa[B3O4(OH)3] · H2OMonoclinic
Photos


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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