Boron Terminology


There is no definite classification in the literature on the classification of boron minerals and commercial products derived from them.   Resources on boron production and consumption and world trade are also very limited. One of the most important sources is ROSKILL INFORMATION SERVICES Ltd.   Boron reports published by this company every 3 years; Boron reserve formations are called boron minerals, the enriched boron ores obtained from these are called borates, refined products are called boron compounds and boron products.   Different parts of the report include definitions of Natural Borates and Refined Borates and  

Natural Borates is used to define concentrated boron ores such as; 

  • tincal,
  • colemanite,
  • ulexite,

while Refined Borates is used to define refined boron products that obtained by refining or chemical reaction of natural borates such as;

  • borax pentahydrate
  • borax decahydrate
  • anhydrous borax
  • boric acid
  • sodium perborate

The products included in the report as a third group; are products called Special Boron Chemicals.

  • Elemental Boron
  • Boron Carbide
  • Boron Halides
  • Inorganic Borates
  • Fluoroborates
  • Esters of boric acid
  • Boron hydrides
  • Organobor compounds
  • Boron-nitrogen compounds

In addition, the examples of Special Boron Products are as follows in a table related to the use of these products. 

  • Sodium Borohydride
  • Zinc Borate
  • Boron trichloride
  • boron trifluoride
  • Trimethyiborate
  • Special sodium borates
  • Fluoborikasit

Apart from this, there is no definition that fits the definition of boron end product or advanced boron product, which is used from time to time in our country. In our country, this definition can also be made in fiberglass products right along with boron carbide, boron nitride, zinc borate, etc.  However, as can be seen in the report mentioned, insulation or textile type fiberglass is a consumption area, which is among the fields of use of boron minerals or products.   One of the detailed reports on boron products is the Chemical Economics Handbook by Stanford Research Institute (SRI).   In this report the classification of Primary Boron Chemicals and Derived Boron Chemicals have been made.  

Primary Boron Chemicals are defined as

  • Sodium borates
  • Calcium borates
  • Borax obtained from lake waters is defined as Anhydrous borax
  • Ortoboric acid obtained from low concentration lake waters is defined as anhydrous boric acid

Boron Derivatives are defined as

  • Elementary boron
  • Boron halides
  • Inorganic borates
  • Fluoroborates
  • Esters of boric acid
  • Refractory boron compounds
    • Boron hydrides
    • Boranes
    • Organobor compounds


Another source regarding the boron subject is the United States Geological Survey (USGS). In these publications, boron products were divided into boron minerals and boron compounds, similar to the Roskill report.

Refined boron products are divided in the titles of

  • Sodium borates
  • Boric acid.  

US Borax defines products such as sodium borates and boric acid as Refined Boron Products, and all products in the product range are named as borates  

The second largest producer in the USA, IMC defines

  • Boric acid
  • Borax pentahydrate
  • Anhydrous borax
  • Borax decahydrate

as boron products; while products such as


  • Zinc Borate
  • Ammonium pentaborate
  • Potassium pentaborate
  • Special boric acids
  • Special borax decahydrate
  • Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate

are defined as Specialty boron products.

When the classification made by these sources is evaluated in general;

  • If the reserves are in question, Boron Minerals Reserves,
  • Concentrated ore products are in question, Crude Boron Products,
  • Borax pentahydrate, borax decahydrate, anhydrous borax, sodium perborate, boric acid and anhydrous boric acid produced primarily from concentrate ores as a result of refining or reaction are in question, Refined Boron Products,
  • Products such as zinc borate, sodium borohydride, boron carbide, boron nitride, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, ammonium pentaborate, boranes produced from refined boron products are in question, Special Boron Products,
  • Products such as textile/insulation type fiberglass, borosilicate glasses, glaze, glazed soap and detergent are in question, it is more appropriate to use Boron Industrial Products or Boron Based Industrial Products terminology.

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