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humility

can you make borax by boiling salt water?

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I noticed that borax is naturally occuring in salt lake beds that regularily dry up and then refill. 

Google was useless so Im asking here, if I took salt,dumped it in a pot of water, boiled the water away, then refilled and repeated, would I eventually wind up with borax?

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No, ordinary salt is sodium chloride and you'll just end up with the same. There needs to borax present, which probably deposits differently from the sodium chloride in salt lakes

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"Borax occurs naturally in evaporite deposits produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes."

"Naturally occurring borax [...] is refined by a process of recrystallization."

Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

 

 

Search Google for compounds solubility (or solubility curve with temperature), in water, or other solvent. Compare them to find the largest difference.

 

 

 

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I would think that lakes that accumulate borax must exist within regions where boron compounds will be washed out of rocks and soils - and less sodium. Likewise for lithium salts and other evaporites - they are specific to particular regions.

I use borax for woodworking as a preventative for lyctus (powderpost) borer, which otherwise eat out the sapwood of the natural poles and sticks I like to use - https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/112706-woodworking-amateurs-craftsmen-in-between/?do=findComment&comment=1033346 

 

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9 hours ago, Sensei said:

"Borax occurs naturally in evaporite deposits produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes."

"Naturally occurring borax [...] is refined by a process of recrystallization."

Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax

 

Search Google for compounds solubility (or solubility curve with temperature), in water, or other solvent. Compare them to find the largest difference.

 

When you have finished reading the solubility curves etc there still will not be any borax in salt.

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9 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

When you have finished reading the solubility curves etc there still will not be any borax in salt.

Borax is also salt.. salt of boric acid. Humility didn't say which salt had on mind. Didn't say "kitchen salt".. Initial post can be interpreted as:

"if I took salt ("...from such salt lake which evaporated..." *), dumped it in a pot of water, boiled the water away, then refilled and repeated, would I eventually wind up with borax? "

*) it is implied by the first sentence of post..

 

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7 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Borax is also salt.

No.

Borax is a salt; but borax is not salt.

9 minutes ago, Sensei said:

it is implied by the first sentence of post..

Not really.

I guess we will find out when the OP comes back.

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Boron (salts) is  such a minor element in the makeup of the Earth's crust that there is not much literature about it.

However there is some in sea water leading desalination in modern times to address the problem of excessive levels, exceeding safe levels (the stuff is poisonous)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0011916410003486

 

If the OP were reboiling sea salt, which many use in the kitchen, he would have the boron content of that sea salt sample.

Of course, simply throwing it into a pot and constantly reboiling would not increase its concentration as the only mass loss is the water vapour.

There have been some American studies of atmospheric boron, transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=atmospheric+boron&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b

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Okay well this answers most of my questions. Sorry about the slow response, this was a late night post when I couldn't get to sleep and I forgot about it by the morning.  So sea salt. How is natural evaporation in lakes different from forced evaporation by boiling?

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5 hours ago, humility said:

So sea salt. How is natural evaporation in lakes different from forced evaporation by boiling?

Sea salt comes from the sea, not lakes.

Natural evaporation is slower and may cause different salts to be crystallised out at different rates.

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