Basic study on the determination of total boron by conversion to tetrafluoroborate ion (BF4-) followed by ion chromatography

Junya Katagiri, Toshiaki Yoshioka, Tadaaki Mizoguchi

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38 Citations (Scopus)


The basic study on the determination of tetrafluoroborate ion (BF4-) by ion chromatography, and total boron by conversion of boric acid to BF4- followed by ion chromatography of BF4- has been carried out. The results of thermodynamic calculations for the system of boric acid (H3BO3)-F--H+ showed that the mole fraction of BF4- was higher than 99% at pH lower than 3.5 and 4.5 when the total free fluoride concentration (2[H2F2] + 2[HF2-] + [HF] + [F-]) was as high as 0.1 and 1.0 M, respectively. The fraction of BF4- increased with increasing total free fluoride concentration. BF4- fraction values were higher than 99% at pH 0.75 and at total free fluoride concentration of 0.05 M or higher. BF4- was hardly formed at pH > 7 even when the total free fluoride concentration was as high as 1.0 M. According to the experimental results, the fraction of BF4- at pH 0.7-0.8 was 51.2, 95.6 and 96.7% when the total fluoride concentration (2[H2F2] + 2[HF2-] + [HF] + [F-] + 3[BF3OH-] + 4[BF4-]) was 0.2, 1.0 and 3.3 M, respectively. The formation reaction of BF4- from boric acid reached an equilibrium state within 20 min regardless of reaction temperature, in the range of 20-50 °C, when the total boron and total fluoride concentrations were 66.7 mM and 1.0 M, respectively. Although BF4- was formed only under acidic conditions, BF4-, once formed, was very stable under alkaline conditions at least for several hours. We have concluded that BF4- could be analyzed by ion chromatography using sodium hydroxide solution as an eluent because BF4- was stable under chromatographic conditions. BF4- solution prepared from boric acid could be used as a standard solution in the ion chromatographic analysis of BF4- instead of the sodium tetrafluoroborate (NaBF4) reagent available commercially, if a discrepancy of about 4-5% was allowed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 7


  • Analysis
  • Boron
  • Fluorine
  • Ion chromatography
  • Tetrafluoroborate ion


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