Is Boron a metal or non-metal Whats The Boron Properties and Boron Uses
Is boron a metal? Boron powder is not a metal, and boron is a solid non-metal because it does not have the general characteristics of metals. Boron is the only non-metallic element with an outermost layer of less than 4 electrons. The element has both amorphous and crystalline forms. The former is a brown-black to black powder, and the latter is black-black to silver-gray and has a metallic luster. Its hardness is similar to diamond. Amorphous boron slowly oxidizes in air at room temperature and is self-igniting at around 800 degC. Boron and hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric acid do not work even if they are boiled for a long time.
Boron can be slowly eroded and oxidized by a mixture of hot concentrated nitric acid and sodium dichromate and sulfuric acid. Hydrogen peroxide and ammonium persulfate also slowly oxidize crystalline boron. Boron reacts violently with sulfur at about 600 deg C to form a mixture of boron sulfide. When boron is heated to above 1000 deg C in nitrogen or ammonia, boron nitride is formed. At 1800-2000 deg C, boron and hydrogen do not react, and boron and silicon react at 2000 deg C or higher to form silicon boride. At high temperatures, boron reacts with many metals and metal oxides to form metal borides.
The elemental boron is a black or dark brown powder, when it oxidized in air, prevents the internal boron from continuing to oxidize due to the formation of the boron trioxide film. It reacts with fluorine at normal temperature and is not corroded by hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid aqueous solution. Boron is insoluble in water, and powdered boron is soluble in boiling nitric acid and sulfuric acid, as well as most molten metals such as copper, iron, manganese, aluminum and calcium. Amorphous boron is chemically active, the powder and air can form an explosive mixture.
Boron is a weak electrical conductor at normal temperature and good at high temperatures. The elemental boron has a variety of allotropes, the amorphous boron is a brown powder, and the crystalline boron is grayish black. Elemental boron has a hardness similar to that of diamond and has a high electrical resistance, but its electrical conductivity increases with increasing temperature. Crystalline boron is more inert, and amorphous boron is more active. There are 14 isotopes in boron, of which only two are stable. The boron exists mainly in the form of boric acid and borate in nature.
Boron is a necessity for ribonucleic acid formation, and ribonucleic acid is an important building block of life. James Stephenson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii's NASA Institute of Astrobiology, said: "Bronze may be important for the origin of life on Earth because it stabilizes nucleic acids, which are important components of ribonucleic acid. In early life, Ribonucleic acid is considered to be a precursor of information for DNA."
Boron is a widely used chemical raw material mineral, mainly used in the production of borax, boric acid and boron compounds and elemental boron. It is also used in metallurgy, building materials, machinery, electrical, chemical, light wool, nuclear industry, pharmaceutical, agricultural and other sectors. Boron powder is regard an important starting material, applied as a compound or as an additional material to the alloy.
Boron can be used in the smelting of special alloy steels and gas scavengers for molten steel, in the igniting poles for igniting tubes in the electronics industry, in control rods, in rocket reactors and in rocket high-energy fuels; as an important raw material for the manufacture of high-purity boron halides. Boron powder is a raw material for preparing a variety of borides; it can replace and save a large amount of valuable and olefin-deficient metals; boron and its compounds can also be used as catalysts for organic chemical reactions.
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