Borax was discovered 4000 years ago. It was first brought to Europe from Kashmir and Tibet. It is deposited by the evaporation of alkaline lakes, and today is mined in California, Nevada, and Tibet. The hydrated mineral is colorless and becomes chalky white during dehydration. It is water soluble, has a sweet alkaline taste, and is brittle. Borax has no toxic fumes; it is environmentally safe and should not be ingested. This chemical is an important source of boron containing compounds such as tincalconite and kernite, and is industrially important in the manufacturing of ceramics, paint, glass, and coated paper. It is also utilized as a disinfectant, insect repellent, water softener, and a detergent. The most common detergent brand is 20 Mule Team Borax.


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Reciprocal Net: a distributed crystallography network for researchers, students, and the general public
Title Reciprocal Net: A Distributed Crystallography Network for Researchers, Students, and the General Public
Link http://www.reciprocalnet.org/
Description Reciprocal Net is a digital collection of molecular structures in crystallography and chemistry. Innovative visualizing tools provide a valuable glimpse into structural details of substances. For each molecular structure, the chemical formula and an explanation is given. The website also has other reference information and some demonstrations and learning modules. The content of this collection comes principally from structures contributed by participating crystallography laboratories, thus providing a means for teachers, students, and the general public to connect better with current chemistry research. The Reciprocal Net's emphasis is on obtaining structures of general interest and usefulness to those several classes of digital-library users.