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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 21 No. 5, p. 505-508
    Received: Jan 22, 1957
    Accepted: May 27, 1957

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The Weathering of Some Boron-Bearing Materials1

  1. E. R. Graham2



The weathering properties of several boron-containing minerals and materials were studied for their solubilities and reactions in water and their exchange reactions in contact with clay.

The amounts of boron released from the minerals Howlite, Bakerite, Colemanite, Tourmaline, and boron frits, 176-E and 176-F, some commercial preparations, were investigated by treating these materials with distilled water at room temperature, hot distilled water as in a Soxlet extraction, hydrogen-saturated IR-120 amberlite, Putnam clay, and sodium EDTA. The bakerite and tourmaline minerals were studied for the availability of the mineral-held boron as demonstrated by growing alfalfa plants in sand-clay cultures that had received treatments of these minerals as a source of boron.

The amount of boron released was related to the nature of the mineral and to the type of weathering agent employed. The calcium borosilicates, Howlite and Bakerite, were weathered most highly by the weathering agents with high calcium-bonding energies such as amberlite IR-120 and EDTA. They were moderately weathered by hot water extraction, and weathered least by distilled water. The calcium borate, Colemanite, and the two boron frit compounds released the largest amount of boron when treated with the hydrogen-saturated IR-120. The Tourmaline released only traces of boron, regardless of the weathering treatments.

The plant root study of the availability of boron revealed the Bakerite mineral as an actively available source of boron, even such that it released excess amounts. The boron held in Tourmaline is unavailable to the plants.

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