Boron and Borates – Essential to the 8 Key Technologies of the Future

Aug 12, 2021 | ADVANCED ENERGY

What is Boron and Borates and why are they essential to the 9 key energy Technologies?

Borates are ubiquitous, in that they exist all over the world. It is not unusual to find them anywhere from natural waters and soils on earth where plants grow. For most plant life cannot survive without boron, it’s important for humans as well to take care of this element by regulating their use of fertilizers with potassium or sodium nitrate which can affect soil pH levels. Borates are essential to a vast array of products we use on an everyday basis.

They are used both in the manufacturing process and as refined compounds, depending on their specific properties. These minerals can be found in flat-screen televisions or computer monitors for entertainment purposes, kitchenware such as ceramic glazes that make food look more delicious than ever before, industrial fluids like lubricants which keep our machines running smoothly even during intense pressure from wear and tear over time–borates help us with this!

Borate also plays an important role when it comes to high-strength alloys (metal) because they protect against corrosion due to environmental conditions; these same borate group mineral compounds also have many uses including capacitors (electricity storage devices) and energy.

Boron in EV is the future

8 Key Energy Technologies FOR EARTH

Li-ion battery

Li-ion battery technology is rapidly becoming the new standard for both e-mobility and energy storage. It has become increasingly relevant to defense applications due to its high-performance capabilities, unrivaled safety record, and low life cycle cost. This highly effective innovation in batteries will change everything – from cars that can fly or drive underwater with no need of a recharge; homes powered by electricity alone without the use of fossil fuel generation sites.

Fuel cells (FCs)

Fuel cells are an important energy conversion technology that, when partnered with hydrogen as fuel, can offer a high potential for decarbonization of the world’s energy system and electric mobility in future years. This is yet to be realized because large-scale deployment has yet taken place. Fuel cells are a promising energy conversion technology, which could potentially decarbonize the future of our society with zero emissions.

Wind energy

The cost of wind energy has dropped significantly and it is now one of the most effective renewable energies. It will remain a key sector in Europe’s industrial base for years to come, as well as providing an economical way to mitigate climate change.

Electric traction motors

The electric motors that propel the electric vehicles of tomorrow will come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all share one common trait: they are more efficient than their combustion engine counterparts. One such type is permanent magnet motor containing rare earth elements which have proven especially valuable for current e-mobility applications as well as future ones.

Photovoltaic (PV) technology

The potential for PV technology to transform the global electricity sector is evident. It’s a promising opportunity that has great implications for our next generation of power plants and grids, as well as regions without electrical infrastructures in need of reliable power sources. Photovoltaic (PV) panels are also relevant space applications.

Robotics

The future of robotics is sure to be an amazing one, as this emerging technology continues its role in manufacturing and innovation. Industries from automotive parts production to aerospace engineering are all taking advantage of the many benefits that come with robotic applications such as increased productivity at a lower cost than human labor.

Drones (Unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV)

Drones are increasingly deployed in several different applications, both civilian and military. There’s no telling what the future holds for these unmanned vehicles: they could be used to deliver packages or tackle fires on-site as well as protect national security interests abroad.

3D Printing (3DP, Additive manufac­turing or AM)

3D printing is the process of manufacturing a three-dimensional object of any size, shape, or complexity from processing 3-dimensional digital data. There are two basic techniques: stereolithography (SLA) and fused deposition modeling (FDM). 3D Printing will drastically reshape the way we think about manufacturing and consumption. It will replace traditional methods of production, specifically in the defense and aerospace industries. There is a significant shift that needs to happen with how raw materials are being used as well as processed items therein.

Digital technologies

Digital technologies are responsible for the success of our digital sector. Without them, we would not be able to analyze all the technology without which this study couldn’t exist in its current format. Digital technologies should be viewed as a valuable resource that drives many sectors and industries forward such as healthcare, education, and more.

How Boron and Borates supports the following technology strategies

Li-ion battery

Borate compounds, including lithium bis(oxalate)borate (LiBOB), are widely used in commercial lithium-ion batteries. Incorporating borate compounds eliminates the deterioration of anodes and cathodes during use by decreasing decomposition reactions after each charge cycle. Borates help to improve surface interface formation at both graphite electrodes when applied as a coating or doped into electrolyte mixtures for better performance and safety against failure from degradation over time with repeated charging cycles. A recent study found that applying LiBOB coatings on graphene electrode surfaces improved rate capability while reducing internal resistance under certain conditions which leads to higher energy density capacities per unit mass.

Fuel cells (FCs)

Borates have an essential role in making fuel cells. Boron, oxygen, and hydrogen come together to produce a series of oxidation and reduction reactions resulting in the generation of electricity in fuel cells. Considering that sixty-five percent of the world’s energy comes from burning fossil fuels where carbon dioxide is inevitably emitted into the atmosphere, many scientists are seeking to develop alternative sources of power. Cleaner energy options such as hydroelectricity and photovoltaic systems might be promising but they all still depend on external factors like sunlight and water flow which can change gears or falter anytime due to dramatic changes without warning. That is why most developing countries turn to coal-fired power plants for support or even nuclear reactors.

Wind energy

Borates are a naturally occurring mineral that works to produce energy while scaling back pollution. Borate power plants use natural boron ore as a fuel source, which is then converted to diborane (DB). Diborane has zero emissions in the production of energy. The role of borate compounds in wind turbines and other renewable energy sources is significant because they offer electricity generation without environmental contamination associated with fossil fuels. Borates are the most efficient rare piles of earth make-up for wind energy. Putting boron in the right places can help extract more torque out of turbines, and therefore increase performance.

Electric traction motors

One of the most versatile ways that electronics manufacturers utilize borates is in electric traction motors because they can improve rotor durability while also reducing wear on bearings by hardening them against excessive sliding friction. This reduces noise and vibration while providing ample power at low costs as well.

Photovoltaic technology

Photovoltaic technology converts sunlight directly into electricity. Borates are semiconducting materials that show great promise in improving the efficiency of solar cells, and so their role deserves more research. Good sensitivity to borate’s revolutionary potential and capability as a new phase transition material for photovoltaics research could lead to PV cells with potential efficiencies exceeding 35%. Borates improve the performance of photovoltaic cells. Boron can also speed up a chemical reaction called hydrogen evolution from water molecules, therefore making them potentially useful in fuel-cell technology as well. Fuel-cell cars and other technologies depend on boron for their function

Robotics

Boron is essential to form rust-proof metal and as a constituent of many alloys, such as stainless steel.   As an insulator, it prevents corrosion. Boron-containing glasses absorb ultraviolet light (UV) to help prevent eye injury from exposure when working with hexavalent chromiums or other hazardous chemicals where contact can be made with bare skin or damage eyesight with overexposure. Boron also helps produce ceramics for this same purpose alongside glass that blocks UV rays and dangerous radiation., while in contrast water does not do any of these things without the assistance of special treatments applied on the surface which reduces its mechanical properties and fail under heavy loadings

Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Borates are used as an inhibitor in the oxidizers that power drones to prevent erosion and surface corrosion. Borate has also been found to be a good choice for creating drone habitat, helping to create surfaces where plankton and coral can grow. Economic, safe, and reliable; these are the benefits to consider when choosing drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). UAVs have been used for everything from simple surveillance missions to search-and-rescue operations. The strength of a human pilot is replaced by the power of computers as a software program maneuvers the drone remotely across complex terrain. Borates play a role in this sophisticated machinery because they provide an important anti-static surface that assists in maintaining signal integrity.

3D Printing (3DP, Additive manufac­turing or AM)

Borates are essential raw materials that form one of the core chemical compositions of 3D printing filament. The Standard Borate is Sodium tetrapod borate, Na 4 [HB 11 O 32 ]·3H 2 O. It is a necessary component in aqueous-based polymer solutions to help prevent coagulation during production and injection molding processing applications. Borate is a chemical compound that slows down the polymerization process in an additive manufacturing machine or 3D printer. Borates work by stabilizing aqueous solutions of polymers and preventing them from getting hard too quickly.

Digital technologies

The use of borates in digital technologies has become widespread. Borate is integral for the performance and practical manufacture of TFT glass, which can be found in flat-screen display panels for televisions, computer monitors, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Electronic circuit boards also need boron-containing materials such as boric acid or sodium tetraborate decahydrate (borax) during their construction process. 

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