B. Elevli, İ. Yaman, B. Laratte ; Estimation of the Turkish Boron Exportation to Europe.
Mining 2022, 2, 155-169.
Borate is an essential material to numerous industries and even to individual countries’ economies, defense, and politics. Almost all industries need borates for production, and almost everybody needs their products. Borate is a compound that contains or supplies boric oxide (B2O3). Among the minerals that contain boric oxide, there are only four minerals significant from an economic standpoint, namely borax (tincal), colemanite, ulexite, and kernite. Turkey has almost 70% of all known reserves in the world. Therefore, borates and their products could be one of the main topics for sustainable development in the whole world. The recent development and pursuit of new boron-consuming technologies and alternative products to existing borate-consuming products introduce additional uncertainty to the sustainability of boron minerals. Therefore, the European Union (EU) Commission also declared borate one of the 30 critical raw materials. Turkey is a prosperous country in terms of boron reserves, and it exports almost 96% of borates’ production. In order to better understand the relation between borate minerals and borate products, a material flow analysis (MFA) study has been carried out within the content of this work in order to update the data about the current status of boron. For this purpose, a system has been established that shows the flow of boron material. The extraction, enrichment, and refining processes of boron products are drawn. The results indicate that about 41% of extracted colemanite ore is converted into refined borate, about 31% of tincal ore is converted to refined borate, and 4% of tincal ore is converted to end-usage products, such as detergent. The correctness of the data and the sensitivity of the processes are all estimated values. The results can help in the development of boron sustainability and boron production strategies. The MFA study on tincal and colemanite ore may be an example of boron studies in different countries.