Boric acid overview

Boric acid is popularly used among fire jugglers and fire spinners dissolved in methanol to give a deep green flame.It is also used in India and across the world to dust down Carrom boards to decrease friction and increase speed of play. It is used in pyrotechnics to prevent the amide-forming reaction between aluminum and nitrates. A small amount of boric acid is added to the composition to neutralize alkaline amides that can react with the aluminum.

Medicinal uses
It can be used as an antiseptic for minor burns or cuts and is sometimes used in dressings or salves or is applied in a very dilute solution as an eye wash. As an anti-bacterial compound, boric acid can also be used as an acne treatment. Boric acid can be used to treat yeast and fungal infections such as candidacies (vaginal yeast infections) by inserting a vaginal suppository containing 600 mg of boric acid twice daily for 14 days (PMID 10865926). It is also used as prevention of athlete’s foot, by inserting powder in the socks or stockings, and in solution can be used to treat some kinds of otitis extern (ear infection) in both humans and animals. The preservative in urine sample bottles (red cap) in the UK is boric acid.
Boric acid has the distinction of being the only known acid that is actually beneficial (rather than harmful) to the eyes, and as such is used by ophthalmologists and in some commercial eye drops.

Industrial uses
Boric acid is used in nuclear power plants to slow down the rate at which fission is occurring. Fission chain reactions are generally driven by the amount of neutrons present (as products from previous fissions). Natural Boron is 20% Boron-10 and about 80% Boron-11. Boron-10 has a high cross-section for absorption of low energy (thermal) neutrons. By adding more boric acid to the reactor coolant which circulates through the reactor, the probability that a neutron can survive to cause fission is reduced. Therefore, boric acid concentration changes effectively regulate the rate of fissions taking place in the reactor. This is only done in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR’s). Boron is also dissolved into the spent fuel pools containing used uranium rods. The concentration is high enough to keep fissions at a minimum.

PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION
Synonyms: ortho-Boric acid; boracic acid; Borofax, boric acid
CAS No.: 10043-35-3
Molecular Weight: 61.83
Chemical Formula: H3BO3

SALES SPECIFICATION

APPEARANCE : white crystals
BH3O3 : 99.0% min
PHOSPHATES : 0.001% max
SULFATES : 0.005% max
INSOLUBLES : 0.005% (in methanol)
Ca : 50ppm max
Cl : 10ppm max
As : 1ppm max
HEAVY METALS (as Pb ) : 10ppm max

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Appearance : White powder or granules.
Odor : Odorless.
Solubility : 18mL in cold water.
Density : 1.43
pH : 5.1 Aqueous solution: (0.1M)
Boiling Point : Decomposes.
Melting Point : 169C (336F)
Vapor Pressure (mm Hg) : 2.6 @ 20C (68F)