Boron Basics

A fundamental part of life on Earth

Educational Video

As one of the chemical elements that make up our planet, boron is all around us—in soil and water, plants and animals—in trace amounts. Watch the video

Boron, Borates,
and Borax

Borates are inorganic salts that contain boron. Although boron is an essential element, it doesn’t exist by itself in nature. Instead, you’ll find it in various combinations with oxygen and other elements, forming substances such as boric acid (boron, oxygen, and hydrogen), calcium borate (boron, oxygen, and calcium), sodium borate (boron, oxygen, hydrogen, and sodium), or lithium borate (boron, oxygen, and lithium).
Borax is often used to refer to sodium borate—and the term has become synonymous with U.S. Borax and our 20 Mule Team® borax products as we have been one of the world’s primary sources of refined boron for more than a century.
Boron is an element, represented by the capital letter B—the fifth element on the periodic table.

How Boron Improves Your Life

Boron’s versatile properties enhance numerous products and applications that are essential to contemporary living. From agriculture to transportation to technology, discover how boron makes the world a better place—and how U.S. Borax is finding better ways to deliver this essential element.

Each year, millions of tons of industrial borates are mined, processed, and distributed around the world for use in agriculture, construction, industry, and energy. Yet rain, volcanic activity, condensation, and other atmospheric activities redistribute at least twice that amount. On a global basis, boron moves through the atmosphere at a rate of 5 to 7 million tons per year.

Learn more about how boron makes modern life possible



Challenge Under the Stars

Are you ready to go on an adventure and discover the wonderful world of the stars? Although the competition for space prizes is over, you can still participate in these challenges.

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Looking for more information about BORON?

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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