Chemical elements
  Boron
    Isotopes
    Energy
    Production
    Application
    Physical properties
    Chemical properties
      Boron Hydrides
      Tetraborodecahydride
      Borobutane
      Hexaborododecahydride
      Borohexylene
      Boron trihydride
      Boro-ethane
      Decaborotetradecahydride
      Boron halogen
      Boron trifluoride
      Hydrofluoboric acid
      Potassium borofluoride
      Fluoboric acid
      Perfluoboric acid
      Boron subchloride
      Boron trichloride
      Boron tribromide
      Boron tri-iodide
      Oxides of Boron
      Tetraboron trioxide
      Boron dioxide
      Tetraboron pentoxide
      Borohydrates
      Hypoborates
      Boron sesqui-oxide
      Boron trioxide
      Boric anhydride
      Boric Acids
      Orthoboric acid
      Boric acid
      Boracic acid
      Complex Boric Acids
      Perboric Acid and Perborates
      Sodium perborate
      Sodium hyperborate
      Potassium perborate
      Rubidium perborate
      Ammonium perborate
      Barium perborate
      Boron sesquisulphide
      Boron trisulphide
      Boron pentasulphide
      Boron selenide
      Boron nitride
      Boron amide
      Boron imide
      Boron phosphide
      Boron phospho-iodides
      Boron carbide
      Boron thiocyanate
      Boron Alkyls
      Boron trimethyl
      Boron Silicides and
      Boroethane

Tetraborodecahydride, B4H10






Tetraborodecahydride or borobutane, B4H10, is a colourless, very volatile liquid which boils at 16° to 17° C., and freezes at about -112° C. The vapour density is 27.0 (H = 1), in accordance with the formula given. The vapour pressures at various temperatures are as follows: -

Temp. °C.10°15°16°
Vap. press, (in mms.)500580630710740


The hydride has a very disagreeable odour. A few bubbles when inhaled affect respiration and cause headache. It is extremely unstable, decomposing in a few hours at ordinary temperatures into a series of other hydrides. It is decomposed by electric sparks, and ignites spontaneously in air or oxygen, burning with a green flame. Nitric acid oxidises it with explosive violence.

It is slowly decomposed by water, the final result being expressed by the equation: -

B4H10 + 12H2O = 4H3BO3 + 11H2.

Aqueous sodium hydroxide rapidly and completely absorbs the hydride, producing a hypoborate, but hydrogen is slowly evolved, and the net result may be expressed thus: -

B4H10 + 4NaOH + 4H2O = 4NaBO2 + 11H2.

The hydride is decomposed by alcohol and reacts with ammonia, but its solution in benzene is very stable towards oxygen.


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