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December 9, 2016
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July 11, 2000
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December 5, 1955
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0.pdf289.41 KB
Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 5 December 1955 USE OF BORON SUBSTANCES IN FUELS S ant f a of Boron is High-Energy Fuels The potentialities for high nergy yield render boron substances extremely useful in the development of fuels for aircraft, missiles, and other specialized weapons, The added energy provided by the use of boron powder in slurry fuels is translated directly into greater y: must and increased range. Boron propellants are used in rockets and other s eciel weapons. Recent research has shown that at least two boron compounds in low concentrations will provide satisfactory p.:roperties and at the same time will maintain and even exceed, for example, the performance of hydrazine in rockets. II. Research and Development of The US Defense Establishment is eng;3ged in a comprehensive program to enlarge the acope of practical applic, itionsa for boron ebstances as fuel, At the present time the Largest t3 consumption of boron raw materials for fuel purposes is in making boron powder for slurry fuels .In the near future, military requirement .43 for all boron raw materials in scheduled aircraft and missile progr.s,13 are expected to exceed the current US annual. production of $=000 teens, with a boric oxide *on- tent of about 250,000 tons. B. Other Free World IDeve] opsmea a .f Boron Fuels The countries which are most liken;! to engage in boron research are those capable of conducting lengthy and complex chemical investi- gations. In the free world, not only ?1.;2e US but also the UK and West Germany are known to possess such capssi't-? l {ties, British reports pub- lished during the past decade indicate that the UK attributes the same importance to continued boron research as does the V3. in the post-war period, boron research in West Germany has been confined to . non-military application ss 0 With the egad of the occupation, he ever, their programs might be extended to include military uses of boron substances. Very little information i.s available on boron research in other free world countries. State, DOC, OSD declassification & release instructions on file A. US Development of Boron Fuels Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 5- E-C -R-S-T Co Soviet Developmente in the Field of Boron Fuels The USSR is believed to be conducting boron fuel research programs. Technical know-how regarding the manufacture and application of boron substances in fuels may be as far advanced in the USSR as in the US or in any other country. This conclusion is derived from an exwrdnaa tion of recent technical literature published in the USSR. Such published information does not demonstrate that the Soviets are using boron fuels in actual aircraft or missile operations; on the other hand there is equally no assurance that they are not doing so. III. Sino-Soviet Bloc Boron Position Ao Deposits and Production The principal deposits of boron-containing minerals in the Sino- Soviet Bloc are located in the USSR,, although there are known to be some in Communist China. Reserves of unmined boron area available in the USSR in 1938 are shown in the attached table (See Annex). They show a total ore availa- bility in geologically explored reserves of about 2?000,,000 metric tons,, having a boric oxide (B203) content of approximately 150,,000 tons. If inferred or geologically Investigated reserves are also included,, the total becomes about 7a500,000 metric tons,, having a boric oxide content of about 6305,000 tons. About 229000 tons of minerals,, containing about 8a tons of boric oxide,, are reported to have been mined in 1938. If,, since that time, it is assumed that output In terms of boric oxide content has varied approximately with Gross National Product,, the total depletion of the 1938 reserves would have been about 170,000 metric tons of boric oxide. This presumes a current annual output of perhaps 35,9000 to 40,,000 tons of minerals,, containing 10,000 to 15,,000 tons of boric oxide. The major deposit? of the USSR are in the vicinity of Inder Lake at Inderborskiy (480311 N -i 5104?' E) and at many points along the north shore of the Caspian Sea* Good highway and railway transporta- tion is available from these deposits. Other deposits are located in the. Nineralnovod-Cheskiy Rayon in the North Caucasus and the Azov- Black Sea area. Although of lower grade., these deposits are being worked, and are also favorably situated for transportation facili- ties. Demitri B. Sh3ankin, Minerals - A Soviet Power (Cambridge,, Mass.,, 1953), Po 253 0 2 S-S-C-R-L-T Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 Usable Chinese reserves of boron resources are believed to be small. Very high-grade deposits in Tibet are relatively inaccessible for present large-scale exploitation. Several recent reports indicate some recovery of borax from long-established salt brine wells and the beginning of construction on a borax plant at Tau-Kung, Szechwan Province. Transportation facilities linking these latter areas with other parts of China appear to be adequate. B. Imports from the Free World The interest of the Sino=-Soviet Bloc in borax boric acid and related products seems to be increasing. Preliminary estimates indi- cate that Bloc imports of these materials from the free world totalled at least 158000 metric tons in 1954,, virtually all to the European Satellites and Communist China, imports appear to have been greater in 1954 than in any other recent year. Recently there have been possible diversions of US-origin borax. Also, Turkey is exporting significant portions of its boracite production to the Satellite. Thus total movement of boron materials from free-world countries to the Bloc during the first nine months of 1955 surpassed the total for the whole of 1954. C. Adequacy of Supplies Information available an Soviet use of boren materials in either civilian or milita'7 programs makes any precise estimate or the aaequacy of supplies difficult. There is reason to believe that in 1954 East German borax imports were 1,000 tons less than was required and planned. At the and of November 1954, borax was released from East German "State Reserves" to meet urgent industrial needs. As of 11. January 1955.0 only 30 tons of this had been returned to the Reserves. Subsequent reports indicate that borax continues to be a chief bottle- neck in supplies for the East German chemical and glass-making industries. -3- S-E-C-R?E?T Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79-01203A000200200002-0 Approved For Release 2000/Q8/29 SQIQr?01203A00020020 D0 -0 ANNEX I USSR RESERVES OF UNMINED BORON ORE (1938 estimate) NATURE OF RESERVES ORE TONNAGE F,n!lored Ores Thoroughly Explored al Good grade (25-35% B203 264 Low grade (3?9% B203) 19417 Total 18681 Geologically Explored b/ Good grade (2535% B203) 3142 Low grade (3?9% 8203) 112 Total 1454 Total Explored Ores 29135 Geolog3.ca11y Investigated Ores 2/ Good grade (25@35% 8203) 138 Low grade (3-9% 8203) 5x245 Total 5383 Total Explored and Investigated Ores 7,v5l8 Soul et Geo3? aches a Izuchennost i Baza SSSR k XVIITL d tithe U-,99 for t He XVIII Congress of the VKP (v s Moscow- Leningrad 19390 Reserves explored ready for mininge b/ Reserves geologically explored and defined by tests with preliminary exallinations ecmputed,, / Reserves established on the basis of naturally or artifical]y induced appearance of the material on the surface -4- Approved For Release 2000/08/29 :CIA-FpPE7`2 2& *000200200002-0