Connect with us

Mining

Boron: Making Modern Life Possible

Published

on

Boron: Making Modern Life Possible

Boron: Making Modern Life Possible

When it comes to modern living, there are so many things we take for granted.

We sleep in warm and comfortable houses, while keeping our food fresh and refrigerated. We have screens in our pockets and throughout our homes that help us to connect with our friends and family – and we can drive across town in minutes to see them, if need be.

Oddly enough, many of these subtle aspects of modern living would not be possible without the existence of very specific minerals and the developments in technology that allow them to be used to their full potential.

Enter Boron

Boron is an unlikely hero in this regard.

Today’s infographic comes from 20 Mule Team Borax, and it covers the properties, applications, market, and future trends surrounding boron. And even though you probably didn’t know much about this metalloid element before today, you’ll soon see that boron’s versatile applications make it an integral part of modern life in many ways:

In fact, boron has an incredible range of properties and uses that make it interesting to us humans:

  • It’s an essential micronutrient for plants
  • It improves the performance of cleaning products
  • It captures neutrons, making nuclear reactors safer
  • It absorbs infrared light, useful for energy efficiency
  • Boron limits growth of bacteria and fungi on wood products
  • It helps to balance acidity and alkalinity
  • Boron makes glass resistant to heat or chemicals
  • Boron prevents corrosion in many settings
  • It be used to make advanced materials
  • It can be used in materials and coatings to suppress flames
  • Boron can be added to steel or aluminum, or used in super-magnets
  • It can link alcohols and carbohydrates together in oil recovery

As a result of this vast array of applications, boron is used in everything from smartphone screens to fertilizer.

Small amounts of boron sit in the walls and ceiling of your home, your kitchen, your bathroom, and your driveway – and it’s even in a lot of food since it is an essential micronutrient for plants.

Future Megatrends

There are three megatrends that are driving future boron consumption: urbanization, energy, and agriculture.

Urbanization
By 2025, China will have 221 cities with over 1 million people. Boron is heavily used in cities and buildings, in applications such as glazed ceramics, LCD televisions and electronics, appliances, and textile fiberglass.

Agriculture
Because boron helps regulate the reproductive cycle of plants, it is needed to help maximize food production for a growing population. In India, the use of boron and other micronutrients is being supported by government projects and subsidies to ensure that farmers increase productivity.

Energy
Boron is also used in energy saving applications such as insulation, which will be key as green building practices are encouraged throughout the world. Borates are also used to create the high-powered magnets in applications like wind turbines, making them even more important for a green future.

Click for Comments

Markets

An Investor’s Guide to Copper in 3 Charts

Explore three key insights into the future of the copper market, from soaring demand to potential supply constraints.

Published

on

An investor's guide to copper in 3 charts

Published

on

The following content is sponsored by iShares

An Investor’s Guide to Copper

Copper is the world’s third-most utilized industrial metal and the linchpin of many clean energy technologies. It forms the vital connections in our electricity networks, grid storage systems, and electric vehicles.

In the above infographic, iShares digs into the forces that are set to shape the future of the copper landscape.

How Much Copper Do We Need?

Copper is poised to experience a remarkable 54% surge in demand from 2022 to 2050.

Here’s a breakdown of the expected demand for copper across clean energy technologies.

Technology2022 (kt)2050P (kt)
Electricity networks43648862
Other low emissions power generation93.7142.2
Solar PV756.81879.8
Grid battery storage24.6665.2
Wind453.5 1303.3
Hydrogen technologies-0.22
Electric vehicles370 3582.9
Other uses19766 22382

Copper is vital in renewable energy systems such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicle batteries because of its high electrical conductivity and durability.

It ensures the effective transmission of electricity and heat, enhancing the overall performance and sustainability of these technologies.

The rising demand for copper in the clean energy sector underscores its critical role in the transition to a greener and more sustainable future.

When Will Copper Demand Exceed Supply?

The burgeoning demand for copper has set the stage for looming supply challenges with a 22% gap predicted by 2031.

Given this metal’s pivotal role in clean energy and technological advancements, innovative mining and processing technologies could hold the key to boosting copper production and meeting the needs of a net-zero future.

Investing in Copper for a Prosperous Future

Investors looking for copper exposure may want to consider an ETF that tracks an index that offers access to companies focused on the exploration and mining of copper.

Click for Comments

You may also like

Subscribe

Continue Reading
MSCI Direct Indexing

Subscribe

Popular