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Thread: boron - boric acid help required

  1. #1 boron - boric acid help required 
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    Hello,

    Does anyone know the method to turn borax into boric acid? Would this be crystallization? If so? How do you do it?


    Last edited by johnk; November 9th, 2013 at 07:02 AM. Reason: restored original
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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    It wouldn't be an acid if it's a solid. But just getting the water out usually doesn't work well.

    Recrystallization and Acid/Base Extraction - The Basics - [www.rhodium.ws]

    Since evaporating water sucks, and quite often leaves behind impurities, it is nice to react your freebase in non-polar with HCl without any water around. This is when gassing comes into play. You can generate pure HCl which is a gas without any water, and bubble this gas through your freebase/non-polar. It will react with your freebase to form the hydrochloride salt (what you want). Since the salt is not soluble in the non-polar, it will them fall out of solution as crystals which can be collected by filtering.
    Explanation of recrystallization

    Once you have your dry drug hydrochloride salt crystals, sometimes you want to get them more pure, because impurities can be trapped inside the tiny clumps of crystals. A good way of doing this is to recrystallize. The idea behind this is to find a solvent that the crystals are kind of soluble in and kind of not. Alcohols usually work well for this. When talking about solvents and solid materials, hot solvent dissolves more solid than cold solvent, so this can be used to your advantage. (The case is opposite for gases but I won't go into that).
    Get two containers. Put some alcohol in one and bring it up to boiling. Put your crystals in the other container. Slowly add boiling alcohol to your crystals and they will dissolve. Use just enough alcohol to dissolve all of your crystals.
    Now since cold alcohol doesn't dissolve crystals very well, cool down the alcohol/product and the crystals will come back out (recrystallize). The slower you cool the alcohol, the bigger the crystals are. The bigger the crystals are, the fewer impurities will be trapped inside of them, and the purer your product will be. So big crystals = pure crystals (usually).One good way for ensuring that your alcohol cools down nice and slow is to put some water in a pot and heat it to boiling and take it off of the heat. Then put your container with hot alcohol/dissolved crystals in the pot of water being sure not to get any water into the alcohol, cover the container, and let it cool down to room temperature. Then you can put the container with alcohol in the refridgerator to cool more. Then into the freezer to cool more. Then you can filter your pretty crystals out. Now there is usually still a little bit of product left in the alcohol, so if you boil off say 75% of the alcohol and repeat the cooling process you can get some more crystals.There are other ways of changing the solubility of the crystals in the alcohol, such as adding acetone or ether to the alcohol, but the temperature method works quite well, is cheap, and simple. So newbies should use it first, then experiment with other methods if they want to.


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  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    It wouldn't be an acid if it's a solid.
    Not true. There are plenty of acids which exist in solid form: citric acid, tartaric acid, etc. Obviously they won't act chemically as acids until dissolved.

    Does anyone know the method to turn boric acid into boric acid flakes? Would this be crystallization? If so? How do you do it?
    If you have a solution in water, then you just need to get rid of the water. Boil it away, until crystals start to form and then leave it to cool. Remove the crystals and dry them (e.g. in a warm - not hot - oven).

    If it is a dilute solution you may only get a minute amount.

    Why are you doing this though? I'm pretty sure you can by boric acid crystals at a pharmacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    It wouldn't be an acid if it's a solid.
    Not true. There are plenty of acids which exist in solid form: citric acid, tartaric acid, etc. Obviously they won't act chemically as acids until dissolved.
    That's what I meant.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    That's what I meant.
    Fair enough. I thought it might be. But I didn't want the OP to think there was no crystalline solid that could be recovered from the solution.
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    thanks for all the replies. I've tried dissolving in water and the outcome is not exactly as desired. I'll post up a picture I really need it to be like flakes. I'd be glad to buy this from somewhere but cannot find it, it used to be available and for some reason the supplier cut it out of their production. So time and time we need it in fairly large quantities, that's why I've been trying to make ourselves. Check out the pic to get an idea. Attachment 1036

    by the way the pic is the result I am trying to acheive. when I do it out of water it's just like salts. this photo is of flakes which are slippery to the touch, and just flake into small flakes.
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:28 AM. Reason: restored original
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnk View Post
    thanks for all the replies. I've tried dissolving in water and the outcome is not exactly as desired. I'll post up a picture I really need it to be like flakes.
    What are you dissolving in water? You already have boric acid in crystalline form, but you want to grow larger crystals, is that it? In which case, I think you just need to evaporate the water more slowly.
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    This also didn't give me the result I wanted. I have been trying to dissolve boric acid in water so that I can get crystal/flakes. I guess this works but not to the end result I'd like.

    Maybe the sample I have is being crystallized with a different solvent.

    Check the photo below. I dissolved boric and then let the water evaporate over the amount of days. Yes it formed larger crystals which I could easily break apart, however, they are still like "salt crystals" what I have as a sample and am trying to replicate is much different, appearance and texture wise.

    Check the photo below, the white shiny crystals is what I got when I dissolved boric in water and let recrystallize, letting water evaporate.

    The one on top with the pearl color is the sample I am trying to achieve. Has anyone seen boric flakes like this before?

    The one with red square is what I am able to make. See the difference.


    Attachment 1037
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by johnk View Post
    thanks for all the replies. I've tried dissolving in water and the outcome is not exactly as desired. I'll post up a picture I really need it to be like flakes.
    What are you dissolving in water? You already have boric acid in crystalline form, but you want to grow larger crystals, is that it? In which case, I think you just need to evaporate the water more slowly.
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: restored original
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    Why do you care what it looks like?
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    Because this is how we were supplying it to our customers and now people don't want it any different. We've tried believe me! We need to replicate the sample on hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Why do you care what it looks like?
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:30 AM. Reason: restored original
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  12. #11  
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    Who are your customers that they care what a chemical looks like?
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    Is that strange? Mr strange? We get this often. We import and supply some chem suppliers in canada. Like I said before customers are used to it so most want the same product. Hope it helps you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Who are your customers that they care what a chemical looks like?
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:32 AM. Reason: restored original
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  14. #13  
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    Sorry I can't help any more...
    Last edited by Strange; August 22nd, 2012 at 02:53 PM.
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    I still appreciate all your time and efforts. If by chance you or anyone knows a boron chemist or lab, my boss would be willing to pay also.

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Sorry I can't help any more...
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:33 AM. Reason: restored original
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    Can't you just buy it cheap from a chemical firm in China?
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    Lol I wish. Have contacted almost every single one and none have it. Some say they dont have it anymore. I figure those are the handful who were buying from the same person as us. Because for whatever reason our guys stopped producing. Its something that requires some special work I guess. I think it has a very high purity as well. If you have any ideas please let me know. Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Can't you just buy it cheap from a chemical firm in China?
    Last edited by marnixR; December 6th, 2012 at 07:34 AM. Reason: restored original
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    johnk, we're taking a dim view here of people who delete the content of their contributions
    it makes a mockery of what a forum is about
    i do not intend to grant your request of deleting the complete thread and have restored the posts that you have erased
    unless there's a solid reason as to why this thread should not be visible to the outside world, i feel that it should be retained as is
    so please don't try to delete old posts again
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