Boron Minerals and Chemicals
You can purchase from this page directly by clicking the 'Purchase' link below.
If you haven't previously registered, you will be taken through a registration process as part of the purchase procedure.
Reports are provided electronically as pdf files. We attempt to email full report pdf files to your registered e-mail address.
Global enterprise-wide online access for a period of one year from date of purchase is also available.
Please contact us using the sales link found to the right on this page for additional information on this option, or if you would prefer not to purchase online.
Published: May 2011
Turkey and the United States are by far the largest producers of boron minerals, accounting for 73% of the global production in 2010. After a sharp decline in consumption during the economic downturn, the market recovered to the pre-crisis level in 2010.
Only a few of the many minerals that contain boron are commercially valuable. Substances containing boron oxide are commonly known as borates. The major borate minerals produced are borax, colemanite, datolite, kernite, probertite, szaibelyite, tincal and ulexite. Major deposits occur in South America, Turkey and the United States in the form of ores and brines.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of boron minerals and chemicals:
In 2010, Turkish production provided 41% of the world supply, based on B2O3 content, and the United States provided another 31% of supply. Other countries that are significant exporters include Argentina, Chile and Malaysia. Europe and Japan rely on imports for their boron mineral and chemical supplies. China is the world's third-largest producer of primary boron chemicals after Turkey and the United States and is the third-largest consumer of boron chemicals after the United States and Europe.
Boron compounds are used in a wide variety of products and manufacturing processes. In the United States and Europe, three market segments—textile glass fiber, insulation glass fiber, and enamels and glazes—may consume either boron mineral directly or derived boron chemicals as the source of B2O3. For nearly twenty years, Turkey has been the major source of boron mineral for direct use in the United States and Europe.
Cellulosic insulation, which uses boron chemicals for fire retardancy, continued to be used in 2010 in new homes and for weatherproofing older homes from the cold. Growth depends on construction trends in individual countries or regions. Use of thermally insulating materials in the renovation market, new buildings, and industrial construction is very active in Europe, where the European Commission established improved insulation standards and subsidies for energy-saving construction measures. The same is true for North America, but under the constraints of a stagnating construction sector. In Asia, as a result of warmer climates in some regions, and a generally less-developed industry, growth in the insulation glass fibers sector is expected to be less pronounced, but still increasing.
Consumption of borates in borosilicate glasses was the second-largest end use in 2010. Boron added to glass in amounts between 4% and 15% reduces the viscosity of the melt, assists with fiber formation during processing, allows for improved specific optical properties, increases resistance to aqueous or chemical attack, enhances certain mechanical properties, and reduces the thermal-expansion coefficient and thermal-shock resistance of the product.
Asia is the primary area of growth for textile glass fiber demand because of growth in demand for reinforced materials in the printed circuit board, automobile, shipbuilding, construction and chemical industries. In North America, growth in the marine industry is expected to continue and to contribute to textile glass fiber consumption growth. In Europe, the industrial and agricultural sectors, with consumption of composites for silos, tanks and construction parts, are expected to increase consumption in 2010–2015.
Boron compounds continue to find applications in the manufacture of biological growth control chemicals for use in algaecides, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and water treatment. Boron can be applied as a spray or incorporated in herbicides, fertilizers and irrigation water. Boron is an essential plant micronutrient and, for certain crops such as corn, boron fertilizers can quadruple yields.