If you had the notion that we were done with Boron facts, you were plain wrong! There’s much more to say about this fascinating element which, Artem Oganov (professor at Stony Brook University) termed as ‘Truly Schizophrenic Element’. So, we take a quick look at another list of 30 facts about Boron and know what surprises this element holds.
|Boron Abundance||By Weight: Parts Per Million (PPM) or Parts Per Billion (PPB)||By Moles: Parts Per Million (PPM) or Parts Per Billion (PPB)|
|Earth’s Crust||10 PPM||1 PPM|
|Solar System||2 PPB||0.2 PPB|
Boron Fun Facts: 1-5
1. Boron as an element is very rare in our entire solar system. Did you know that our Earth’s crust consists of merely 0.001% Boron? That’s pretty rare, right? However, did you know that compounds of Boron are pretty common!
2. Just how common is Boron compounds? Here you go! There are at least 100 minerals where you will find Boron.
3. If that isn’t satisfying you, here is something else you need to know. Any food that we eat that comes from plant sources will invariably contain Boron. Why like that? That’s because, Boron is an essential element needed by all green plants. Boron is found in the walls of every cell of every plant studied till now.
4. Now that question – is Boron toxic? Well, no, not really! Boron is not toxic unless of course you think of taking it is large quantities.
5. Boron has the ability of transmitting portions of IR or Infrared light. That’s incredible!
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Boron Fun Facts: 6-10
6. Heat Boron to pretty high temperatures and this element which used to poorly conduct electricity at room temperature will suddenly become a very good conductor of electricity.
7. Boron is very very good at absorbing neutrons. It is this property of Boron which makes its an extremely useful element when it comes to controlling nuclear reactions. Nuclear reactors have control rods. These control rods are made by alloying steel with Boron or mixing Boron with other elements like carbon, zirconium or titanium.
8. You may be wondering what really happens and what type of nuclear reaction is in question. Boron is used for nuclear fission reactions where careening neutrons are made to bombard with atoms of uranium.
9. We are talking of atomic level. So there are actually hundreds of thousands and even millions of atoms and neutrons out there in the reactor. If they are just allowed to react freely, the reaction will soon become uncontrollable and the reactor will reach supercritical state.
10. It is because of this, it is very necessary to ensure that one fission event that is taking place leads to no more than just one more fission reaction. This can be done only when neutrons are absorbed as quickly as they are released. This is where the control rods come in. Boron in these rods immediately absorb the neutrons, preventing a runaway reaction.