bromine
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Bromine is a
chemical element A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei, including the pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of that species. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements canno ...
with the symbol Br and
atomic number The atomic number or nuclear charge number (symbol ''Z'') of a chemical element is the charge number of an atomic nucleus. For ordinary nuclei, this is equal to the proton number (''n''p) or the number of protons found in the nucleus of every ...
35. It is the third-lightest element in group 17 of the periodic table ( halogens) and is a volatile red-brown liquid at room temperature that evaporates readily to form a similarly coloured vapour. Its properties are intermediate between those of
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betwee ...
and iodine. Isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig (in 1825) and Antoine Jérôme Balard (in 1826), its name was derived from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
(bromos) meaning "stench", referring to its sharp and pungent smell. Elemental bromine is very reactive and thus does not occur as a native element in nature but it occurs in colourless soluble crystalline mineral halide salts, analogous to table salt. In fact, bromine and all the halogens are so reactive that they form bonds in pairs—never in single atoms. While it is rather rare in the Earth's crust, the high solubility of the bromide ion (Br) has caused its accumulation in the oceans. Commercially the element is easily extracted from brine evaporation ponds, mostly in the United States and Israel. The mass of bromine in the oceans is about one three-hundredth that of chlorine. At standard conditions for temperature and pressure it is a liquid; the only other element that is liquid under these conditions is mercury. At high temperatures, organobromine compounds readily dissociate to yield free bromine atoms, a process that stops free radical chemical chain reactions. This effect makes organobromine compounds useful as fire retardants, and more than half the bromine produced worldwide each year is put to this purpose. The same property causes ultraviolet sunlight to dissociate volatile organobromine compounds in the atmosphere to yield free bromine atoms, causing ozone depletion. As a result, many organobromine compounds—such as the pesticide methyl bromide—are no longer used. Bromine compounds are still used in well drilling fluids, in photographic film, and as an intermediate in the manufacture of organic chemicals. Large amounts of bromide salts are toxic from the action of soluble bromide ions, causing bromism. However, a clear biological role for bromide ions and hypobromous acid has recently been elucidated, and it now appears that bromine is an essential trace element in humans. The role of biological organobromine compounds in sea life such as algae has been known for much longer. As a pharmaceutical, the simple bromide ion (Br) has inhibitory effects on the central nervous system, and bromide salts were once a major medical sedative, before replacement by shorter-acting drugs. They retain niche uses as antiepileptics.


History

Bromine was discovered independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Balard, in 1825 and 1826, respectively. Löwig isolated bromine from a mineral water spring from his hometown Bad Kreuznach in 1825. Löwig used a solution of the mineral salt saturated with chlorine and extracted the bromine with diethyl ether. After evaporation of the ether, a brown liquid remained. With this liquid as a sample of his work he applied for a position in the laboratory of Leopold Gmelin in Heidelberg. The publication of the results was delayed and Balard published his results first. Balard found bromine chemicals in the ash of seaweed from the salt marshes of Montpellier. The seaweed was used to produce iodine, but also contained bromine. Balard distilled the bromine from a solution of seaweed ash saturated with chlorine. The properties of the resulting substance were intermediate between those of chlorine and iodine; thus he tried to prove that the substance was iodine monochloride (ICl), but after failing to do so he was sure that he had found a new element and named it muride, derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
word ("brine"). After the French chemists Louis Nicolas Vauquelin, Louis Jacques Thénard, and Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac approved the experiments of the young pharmacist Balard, the results were presented at a lecture of the Académie des Sciences and published in ''Annales de Chimie et Physique''. In his publication, Balard stated that he changed the name from ''muride'' to ''brôme'' on the proposal of M. Anglada. The name ''brôme'' (bromine) derives from the Greek (, "stench"). Other sources claim that the French chemist and physicist Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac suggested the name ''brôme'' for the characteristic smell of the vapors. Bromine was not produced in large quantities until 1858, when the discovery of salt deposits in Stassfurt enabled its production as a by-product of potash.Greenwood and Earnshaw, p. 790 Apart from some minor medical applications, the first commercial use was the
daguerreotype Daguerreotype (; french: daguerréotype) was the first publicly available photography, photographic process; it was widely used during the 1840s and 1850s. "Daguerreotype" also refers to an image created through this process. Invented by Loui ...
. In 1840, bromine was discovered to have some advantages over the previously used iodine vapor to create the light sensitive silver halide layer in daguerreotypy. Potassium bromide and sodium bromide were used as anticonvulsants and sedatives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but were gradually superseded by chloral hydrate and then by the barbiturates. In the early years of the
First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, bromine compounds such as xylyl bromide were used as
poison gas Many gases have toxicity, toxic properties, which are often assessed using the LC50, LC50 (median lethal dose) measure. In the United States, many of these gases have been assigned an NFPA 704 health rating of 4 (may be fatal) or 3 (may cause se ...
.


Properties

Bromine is the third halogen, being a nonmetal in group 17 of the periodic table. Its properties are thus similar to those of fluorine,
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betwee ...
, and iodine, and tend to be intermediate between those of the two neighbouring halogens, chlorine, and iodine. Bromine has the electron configuration rs3d4p, with the seven electrons in the fourth and outermost shell acting as its valence electrons. Like all halogens, it is thus one electron short of a full octet, and is hence a strong oxidising agent, reacting with many elements in order to complete its outer shell.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 800–4 Corresponding to periodic trends, it is intermediate in
electronegativity Electronegativity, symbolized as ''Chi (letter), χ'', is the tendency for an atom of a given chemical element to attract shared electrons (or electron density) when forming a chemical bond. An atom's electronegativity is affected by both its ato ...
between chlorine and iodine (F: 3.98, Cl: 3.16, Br: 2.96, I: 2.66), and is less reactive than chlorine and more reactive than iodine. It is also a weaker oxidising agent than chlorine, but a stronger one than iodine. Conversely, the bromide ion is a weaker reducing agent than iodide, but a stronger one than chloride. These similarities led to chlorine, bromine, and iodine together being classified as one of the original triads of Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner, whose work foreshadowed the periodic law for chemical elements. It is intermediate in
atomic radius The atomic radius of a chemical element is a measure of the size of its atom, usually the mean or typical distance from the center of the Atomic nucleus, nucleus to the outermost isolated electron. Since the boundary is not a well-defined physica ...
between chlorine and iodine, and this leads to many of its atomic properties being similarly intermediate in value between chlorine and iodine, such as first ionisation energy, electron affinity, enthalpy of dissociation of the X molecule (X = Cl, Br, I), ionic radius, and X–X bond length. The volatility of bromine accentuates its very penetrating, choking, and unpleasant odour.Greenwood and Earnshaw, p. 793–4 All four stable halogens experience intermolecular van der Waals forces of attraction, and their strength increases together with the number of electrons among all homonuclear diatomic halogen molecules. Thus, the melting and boiling points of bromine are intermediate between those of chlorine and iodine. As a result of the increasing molecular weight of the halogens down the group, the density and heats of fusion and vaporisation of bromine are again intermediate between those of chlorine and iodine, although all their heats of vaporisation are fairly low (leading to high volatility) thanks to their diatomic molecular structure. The halogens darken in colour as the group is descended: fluorine is a very pale yellow gas, chlorine is greenish-yellow, and bromine is a reddish-brown volatile liquid that melts at −7.2 °C and boils at 58.8 °C. (Iodine is a shiny black solid.) This trend occurs because the wavelengths of visible light absorbed by the halogens increase down the group. Specifically, the colour of a halogen, such as bromine, results from the electron transition between the highest occupied antibonding ''π'' molecular orbital and the lowest vacant antibonding ''σ'' molecular orbital.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 804–9 The colour fades at low temperatures so that solid bromine at −195 °C is pale yellow. Like solid chlorine and iodine, solid bromine crystallises in the orthorhombic crystal system, in a layered arrangement of Br molecules. The Br–Br distance is 227 pm (close to the gaseous Br–Br distance of 228 pm) and the Br···Br distance between molecules is 331 pm within a layer and 399 pm between layers (compare the van der Waals radius of bromine, 195 pm). This structure means that bromine is a very poor conductor of electricity, with a conductivity of around 5 × 10 Ω cm just below the melting point, although this is higher than the essentially undetectable conductivity of chlorine. At a pressure of 55  GPa (roughly 540,000 times atmospheric pressure) bromine undergoes an insulator-to-metal transition. At 75 GPa it changes to a face-centered orthorhombic structure. At 100 GPa it changes to a body centered orthorhombic monatomic form.


Isotopes

Bromine has two stable
isotope Isotopes are two or more types of atoms that have the same atomic number (number of protons in their nuclei) and position in the periodic table (and hence belong to the same chemical element), and that differ in nucleon numbers (mass numbe ...
s, Br and Br. These are its only two natural isotopes, with Br making up 51% of natural bromine and Br making up the remaining 49%. Both have nuclear spin 3/2− and thus may be used for
nuclear magnetic resonance Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a physical phenomenon in which atomic nucleus, nuclei in a strong constant magnetic field are perturbed by a weak oscillating magnetic field (in the near and far field, near field) and respond by producing ...
, although Br is more favourable. The relatively 1:1 distribution of the two isotopes in nature is helpful in identification of bromine containing compounds using mass spectroscopy. Other bromine isotopes are all radioactive, with half-lives too short to occur in nature. Of these, the most important are Br (''t'' = 17.7 min), Br (''t'' = 4.421 h), and Br (''t'' = 35.28 h), which may be produced from the neutron activation of natural bromine. The most stable bromine radioisotope is Br (''t'' = 57.04 h). The primary decay mode of isotopes lighter than Br is electron capture to isotopes of selenium; that of isotopes heavier than Br is beta decay to isotopes of
krypton Krypton (from grc, κρυπτός, translit=kryptos 'the hidden one') is a chemical element with the symbol (chemistry), symbol Kr and atomic number 36. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas that occurs in trace element, trace amount ...
; and Br may decay by either mode to stable Se or Kr.


Chemistry and compounds

Bromine is intermediate in reactivity between chlorine and iodine, and is one of the most reactive elements. Bond energies to bromine tend to be lower than those to chlorine but higher than those to iodine, and bromine is a weaker oxidising agent than chlorine but a stronger one than iodine. This can be seen from the standard electrode potentials of the X/X couples (F, +2.866 V; Cl, +1.395 V; Br, +1.087 V; I, +0.615 V; At, approximately +0.3 V). Bromination often leads to higher oxidation states than iodination but lower or equal oxidation states to chlorination. Bromine tends to react with compounds including M–M, M–H, or M–C bonds to form M–Br bonds.


Hydrogen bromide

The simplest compound of bromine is hydrogen bromide, HBr. It is mainly used in the production of inorganic bromides and alkyl bromides, and as a catalyst for many reactions in organic chemistry. Industrially, it is mainly produced by the reaction of
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the chemical ...
gas with bromine gas at 200–400 °C with a platinum catalyst. However, reduction of bromine with red phosphorus is a more practical way to produce hydrogen bromide in the laboratory:Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 809–12 : 2 P + 6 HO + 3 Br → 6 HBr + 2 HPO : HPO + HO + Br → 2 HBr + HPO At room temperature, hydrogen bromide is a colourless gas, like all the hydrogen halides apart from hydrogen fluoride, since hydrogen cannot form strong hydrogen bonds to the large and only mildly electronegative bromine atom; however, weak hydrogen bonding is present in solid crystalline hydrogen bromide at low temperatures, similar to the hydrogen fluoride structure, before disorder begins to prevail as the temperature is raised. Aqueous hydrogen bromide is known as hydrobromic acid, which is a strong acid (p''K'' = −9) because the hydrogen bonds to bromine are too weak to inhibit dissociation. The HBr/HO system also involves many hydrates HBr·''n''HO for ''n'' = 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, which are essentially salts of bromine anions and hydronium cations. Hydrobromic acid forms an azeotrope with boiling point 124.3 °C at 47.63 g HBr per 100 g solution; thus hydrobromic acid cannot be concentrated beyond this point by distillation.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 812–6 Unlike hydrogen fluoride, anhydrous liquid hydrogen bromide is difficult to work with as a solvent, because its boiling point is low, it has a small liquid range, its dielectric constant is low and it does not dissociate appreciably into HBr and ions – the latter, in any case, are much less stable than the bifluoride ions () due to the very weak hydrogen bonding between hydrogen and bromine, though its salts with very large and weakly polarising cations such as Cs and (R = Me, Et, Bu) may still be isolated. Anhydrous hydrogen bromide is a poor solvent, only able to dissolve small molecular compounds such as nitrosyl chloride and
phenol Phenol (also called carbolic acid) is an aromaticity, aromatic organic compound with the molecular chemical formula, formula . It is a white crystalline solid that is volatility (chemistry), volatile. The molecule consists of a phenyl group () ...
, or salts with very low lattice energies such as tetraalkylammonium halides.


Other binary bromides

Nearly all elements in the periodic table form binary bromides. The exceptions are decidedly in the minority and stem in each case from one of three causes: extreme inertness and reluctance to participate in chemical reactions (the
noble gas The noble gases (historically also the inert gases; sometimes referred to as aerogens) make up a class of chemical elements with similar properties; under Standard conditions for temperature and pressure, standard conditions, they are all odorle ...
es, with the exception of xenon in the very unstable XeBr); extreme nuclear instability hampering chemical investigation before decay and transmutation (many of the heaviest elements beyond
bismuth Bismuth is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens, with chemical properties resembling its lighter group 15 siblings arsenic and antimony. Elemental ...
); and having an electronegativity higher than bromine's (
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic table), group in the periodic table, a highly Chemical reaction, reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing a ...
,
nitrogen Nitrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol N and atomic number 7. Nitrogen is a nonmetal and the lightest member of pnictogen, group 15 of the periodic table, often called the pnictogens. It is a common element in the ...
, fluorine, and
chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cl and atomic number 17. The second-lightest of the halogens, it appears between fluorine and bromine in the periodic table and its properties are mostly intermediate betwee ...
), so that the resultant binary compounds are formally not bromides but rather oxides, nitrides, fluorides, or chlorides of bromine. (Nonetheless, nitrogen tribromide is named as a bromide as it is analogous to the other nitrogen trihalides.)Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 821–4 Bromination of metals with Br tends to yield lower oxidation states than chlorination with Cl when a variety of oxidation states is available. Bromides can be made by reaction of an element or its oxide, hydroxide, or carbonate with hydrobromic acid, and then dehydrated by mildly high temperatures combined with either low pressure or anhydrous hydrogen bromide gas. These methods work best when the bromide product is stable to hydrolysis; otherwise, the possibilities include high-temperature oxidative bromination of the element with bromine or hydrogen bromide, high-temperature bromination of a metal oxide or other halide by bromine, a volatile metal bromide, carbon tetrabromide, or an organic bromide. For example, niobium(V) oxide reacts with carbon tetrabromide at 370 °C to form niobium(V) bromide. Another method is halogen exchange in the presence of excess "halogenating reagent", for example: :FeCl + BBr (excess) → FeBr + BCl When a lower bromide is wanted, either a higher halide may be reduced using hydrogen or a metal as a reducing agent, or thermal decomposition or disproportionation may be used, as follows: : 3 WBr + Al 3 WBr + AlBr : EuBr + H → EuBr + HBr : 2 TaBr TaBr + TaBr Most metal bromides with the metal in low oxidation states (+1 to +3) are ionic. Nonmetals tend to form covalent molecular bromides, as do metals in high oxidation states from +3 and above. Both ionic and covalent bromides are known for metals in oxidation state +3 (e.g. scandium bromide is mostly ionic, but aluminium bromide is not). Silver bromide is very insoluble in water and is thus often used as a qualitative test for bromine.


Bromine halides

The halogens form many binary, diamagnetic interhalogen compounds with stoichiometries XY, XY, XY, and XY (where X is heavier than Y), and bromine is no exception. Bromine forms a monofluoride and monochloride, as well as a trifluoride and pentafluoride. Some cationic and anionic derivatives are also characterised, such as , , , , and . Apart from these, some pseudohalides are also known, such as cyanogen bromide (BrCN), bromine thiocyanate (BrSCN), and bromine azide (BrN).Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 824–8 The pale-brown bromine monofluoride (BrF) is unstable at room temperature, disproportionating quickly and irreversibly into bromine, bromine trifluoride, and bromine pentafluoride. It thus cannot be obtained pure. It may be synthesised by the direct reaction of the elements, or by the comproportionation of bromine and bromine trifluoride at high temperatures. Bromine monochloride (BrCl), a red-brown gas, quite readily dissociates reversibly into bromine and chlorine at room temperature and thus also cannot be obtained pure, though it can be made by the reversible direct reaction of its elements in the gas phase or in carbon tetrachloride. Bromine monofluoride in
ethanol Ethanol (abbr. EtOH; also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic compound. It is an Alcohol (chemistry), alcohol with the chemical formula . Its formula can be also written as or (an ethyl ...
readily leads to the monobromination of the aromatic compounds PhX (''para''-bromination occurs for X = Me, Bu, OMe, Br; ''meta''-bromination occurs for the deactivating X = –COEt, –CHO, –NO); this is due to heterolytic fission of the Br–F bond, leading to rapid electrophilic bromination by Br. At room temperature, bromine trifluoride (BrF) is a straw-coloured liquid. It may be formed by directly fluorinating bromine at room temperature and is purified through distillation. It reacts violently with water and explodes on contact with flammable materials, but is a less powerful fluorinating reagent than chlorine trifluoride. It reacts vigorously with
boron Boron is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol B and atomic number 5. In its crystalline form it is a brittle, dark, lustrous metalloid; in its amorphous form it is a brown powder. As the lightest element of the ''boron g ...
,
carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetravalent—its atom making four electrons available to form covalent bond, covalent chemical bonds. It belongs to gro ...
, silicon,
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has vario ...
,
antimony Antimony is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Sb (from la, wiktionary:stibium#Latin, stibium) and atomic number 51. A lustrous gray metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite (Sb2S3). Antimony ...
, iodine, and
sulfur Sulfur (or sulphur in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the ...
to give fluorides, and will also convert most metals and many metal compounds to fluorides; as such, it is used to oxidise uranium to uranium hexafluoride in the nuclear power industry. Refractory oxides tend to be only partially fluorinated, but here the derivatives KBrF and BrFSbF remain reactive. Bromine trifluoride is a useful nonaqueous ionising solvent, since it readily dissociates to form and and thus conducts electricity.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 828–31 Bromine pentafluoride (BrF) was first synthesised in 1930. It is produced on a large scale by direct reaction of bromine with excess fluorine at temperatures higher than 150 °C, and on a small scale by the fluorination of potassium bromide at 25 °C. It also reacts violently with water and is a very strong fluorinating agent, although chlorine trifluoride is still stronger.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 832–5


Polybromine compounds

Although dibromine is a strong oxidising agent with a high first ionisation energy, very strong oxidisers such as peroxydisulfuryl fluoride (SOF) can oxidise it to form the cherry-red cation. A few other bromine cations are known, namely the brown and dark brown .Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 842–4 The tribromide anion, , has also been characterised; it is analogous to triiodide.


Bromine oxides and oxoacids

Bromine oxides are not as well-characterised as chlorine oxides or iodine oxides, as they are all fairly unstable: it was once thought that they could not exist at all. Dibromine monoxide is a dark-brown solid which, while reasonably stable at −60 °C, decomposes at its melting point of −17.5 °C; it is useful in bromination reactions and may be made from the low-temperature decomposition of bromine dioxide in a vacuum. It oxidises iodine to iodine pentoxide and benzene to 1,4-benzoquinone; in alkaline solutions, it gives the hypobromite anion.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 850–1 So-called " bromine dioxide", a pale yellow crystalline solid, may be better formulated as bromine perbromate, BrOBrO. It is thermally unstable above −40 °C, violently decomposing to its elements at 0 °C. Dibromine trioxide, ''syn''-BrOBrO, is also known; it is the anhydride of hypobromous acid and bromic acid. It is an orange crystalline solid which decomposes above −40 °C; if heated too rapidly, it explodes around 0 °C. A few other unstable radical oxides are also known, as are some poorly characterised oxides, such as dibromine pentoxide, tribromine octoxide, and bromine trioxide. The four oxoacids, hypobromous acid (HOBr), bromous acid (HOBrO), bromic acid (HOBrO), and perbromic acid (HOBrO), are better studied due to their greater stability, though they are only so in aqueous solution. When bromine dissolves in aqueous solution, the following reactions occur:Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 853–9 : Hypobromous acid is unstable to disproportionation. The hypobromite ions thus formed disproportionate readily to give bromide and bromate: : Bromous acids and bromites are very unstable, although the strontium and barium bromites are known.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 862–5 More important are the bromates, which are prepared on a small scale by oxidation of bromide by aqueous hypochlorite, and are strong oxidising agents. Unlike chlorates, which very slowly disproportionate to chloride and perchlorate, the bromate anion is stable to disproportionation in both acidic and aqueous solutions. Bromic acid is a strong acid. Bromides and bromates may comproportionate to bromine as follows: : + 5 Br + 6 H → 3 Br + 3 HO There were many failed attempts to obtain perbromates and perbromic acid, leading to some rationalisations as to why they should not exist, until 1968 when the anion was first synthesised from the radioactive beta decay of unstable . Today, perbromates are produced by the oxidation of alkaline bromate solutions by fluorine gas. Excess bromate and fluoride are precipitated as silver bromate and calcium fluoride, and the perbromic acid solution may be purified. The perbromate ion is fairly inert at room temperature but is thermodynamically extremely oxidising, with extremely strong oxidising agents needed to produce it, such as fluorine or xenon difluoride. The Br–O bond in is fairly weak, which corresponds to the general reluctance of the 4p elements
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has vario ...
, selenium, and bromine to attain their group oxidation state, as they come after the scandide contraction characterised by the poor shielding afforded by the radial-nodeless 3d orbitals.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 871–2


Organobromine compounds

Like the other carbon–halogen bonds, the C–Br bond is a common functional group that forms part of core
organic chemistry Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the science, scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, i.e., matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms.Clay ...
. Formally, compounds with this functional group may be considered organic derivatives of the bromide anion. Due to the difference of electronegativity between bromine (2.96) and carbon (2.55), the carbon atom in a C–Br bond is electron-deficient and thus electrophilic. The reactivity of organobromine compounds resembles but is intermediate between the reactivity of organochlorine and organoiodine compounds. For many applications, organobromides represent a compromise of reactivity and cost. Organobromides are typically produced by additive or substitutive bromination of other organic precursors. Bromine itself can be used, but due to its toxicity and volatility, safer brominating reagents are normally used, such as ''N''-bromosuccinimide. The principal reactions for organobromides include dehydrobromination, Grignard reactions, reductive coupling, and nucleophilic substitution.Ioffe, David and Kampf, Arieh (2002) "Bromine, Organic Compounds" in ''Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology''. John Wiley & Sons. . Organobromides are the most common organohalides in nature, even though the concentration of bromide is only 0.3% of that for chloride in sea water, because of the easy oxidation of bromide to the equivalent of Br, a potent electrophile. The enzyme bromoperoxidase catalyzes this reaction. The oceans are estimated to release 1–2 million tons of bromoform and 56,000 tons of bromomethane annually. An old qualitative test for the presence of the alkene functional group is that alkenes turn brown aqueous bromine solutions colourless, forming a bromohydrin with some of the dibromoalkane also produced. The reaction passes through a short-lived strongly electrophilic bromonium intermediate. This is an example of a halogen addition reaction.


Occurrence and production

Bromine is significantly less abundant in the crust than fluorine or chlorine, comprising only 2.5  parts per million of the Earth's crustal rocks, and then only as bromide salts. It is the forty-sixth most abundant element in Earth's crust. It is significantly more abundant in the oceans, resulting from long-term leaching. There, it makes up 65 parts per million, corresponding to a ratio of about one bromine atom for every 660 chlorine atoms. Salt lakes and brine wells may have higher bromine concentrations: for example, the Dead Sea contains 0.4% bromide ions.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 795–6 It is from these sources that bromine extraction is mostly economically feasible. The main sources of bromine are in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
. The element is liberated by halogen exchange, using chlorine gas to oxidise Br to Br. This is then removed with a blast of steam or air, and is then condensed and purified. Today, bromine is transported in large-capacity metal drums or lead-lined tanks that can hold hundreds of kilograms or even tonnes of bromine. The bromine industry is about one-hundredth the size of the chlorine industry. Laboratory production is unnecessary because bromine is commercially available and has a long shelf life.Greenwood and Earnshaw, pp. 798–9


Applications

A wide variety of organobromine compounds are used in
industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics), a generally categorized branch of economic activity * Industry (manufacturing), a specific branch of economic activity, typically in factories with machinery * The wider industrial sect ...
. Some are prepared from bromine and others are prepared from hydrogen bromide, which is obtained by burning
hydrogen Hydrogen is the chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol H and atomic number 1. Hydrogen is the lightest element. At standard temperature and pressure, standard conditions hydrogen is a gas of diatomic molecules having the chemical ...
in bromine.


Flame retardants

Brominated flame retardants represent a commodity of growing importance, and make up the largest commercial use of bromine. When the brominated material burns, the flame retardant produces hydrobromic acid which interferes in the radical chain reaction of the oxidation reaction of the fire. The mechanism is that the highly reactive hydrogen radicals, oxygen radicals, and hydroxy radicals react with hydrobromic acid to form less reactive bromine radicals (i.e., free bromine atoms). Bromine atoms may also react directly with other radicals to help terminate the free radical chain-reactions that characterise combustion. To make brominated polymers and plastics, bromine-containing compounds can be incorporated into the polymer during polymerisation. One method is to include a relatively small amount of brominated monomer during the polymerisation process. For example, vinyl bromide can be used in the production of polyethylene,
polyvinyl chloride Polyvinyl chloride (alternatively: poly(vinyl chloride), colloquial: polyvinyl, or simply vinyl; abbreviated: PVC) is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic polymer of plastic (after polyethylene and polypropylene). About 40 millio ...
or polypropylene. Specific highly brominated molecules can also be added that participate in the polymerisation process For example, tetrabromobisphenol A can be added to polyesters or epoxy resins, where it becomes part of the polymer. Epoxies used in printed circuit boards are normally made from such flame retardant resins, indicated by the FR in the abbreviation of the products ( FR-4 and FR-2). In some cases, the bromine-containing compound may be added after polymerisation. For example, decabromodiphenyl ether can be added to the final polymers. A number of gaseous or highly volatile brominated halomethane compounds are non-toxic and make superior fire suppressant agents by this same mechanism, and are particularly effective in enclosed spaces such as submarines, airplanes, and spacecraft. However, they are expensive and their production and use has been greatly curtailed due to their effect as ozone-depleting agents. They are no longer used in routine fire extinguishers, but retain niche uses in aerospace and military automatic fire suppression applications. They include bromochloromethane (Halon 1011, CHBrCl), bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211, CBrClF), and bromotrifluoromethane (Halon 1301, CBrF).Günter Siegemund, Werner Schwertfeger, Andrew Feiring, Bruce Smart, Fred Behr, Herward Vogel, Blaine McKusick "Fluorine Compounds, Organic" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002.


Other uses

Silver bromide is used, either alone or in combination with
silver chloride Silver chloride is a chemical compound with the chemical formula AgCl. This white crystalline solid is well known for its low solubility in water (this behavior being reminiscent of the chlorides of Tl+ and Pb2+). Upon illumination or heating, ...
and silver iodide, as the light sensitive constituent of photographic emulsions. Ethylene bromide was an additive in gasolines containing lead anti- engine knocking agents. It scavenges lead by forming volatile lead bromide, which is exhausted from the engine. This application accounted for 77% of the bromine use in 1966 in the US. This application has declined since the 1970s due to environmental regulations (see below). Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a complex mixture of plant-derived triglycerides that have been reacted to contain atoms of the element bromine bonded to the molecules, is used primarily to help emulsify citrus-flavored soft drinks, preventing them from separating during distribution. Poisonous bromomethane was widely used as pesticide to fumigate soil and to fumigate housing, by the tenting method. Ethylene bromide was similarly used. These volatile organobromine compounds are all now regulated as ozone depletion agents. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer scheduled the phase out for the ozone depleting chemical by 2005, and organobromide pesticides are no longer used (in housing fumigation they have been replaced by such compounds as sulfuryl fluoride, which contain neither the chlorine or bromine organics which harm ozone). Before the Montreal protocol in 1991 (for example) an estimated 35,000 tonnes of the chemical were used to control nematodes,
fungi A fungus (plural, : fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified ...
, weeds and other soil-borne diseases. In pharmacology, inorganic bromide compounds, especially potassium bromide, were frequently used as general sedatives in the 19th and early 20th century. Bromides in the form of simple salts are still used as anticonvulsants in both veterinary and human medicine, although the latter use varies from country to country. For example, the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA or US FDA) is a List of United States federal agencies, federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA is respon ...
(FDA) does not approve bromide for the treatment of any disease, and it was removed from over-the-counter sedative products like Bromo-Seltzer, in 1975. Commercially available organobromine pharmaceuticals include the vasodilator nicergoline, the sedative brotizolam, the anticancer agent pipobroman, and the antiseptic merbromin. Otherwise, organobromine compounds are rarely pharmaceutically useful, in contrast to the situation for organofluorine compounds. Several drugs are produced as the bromide (or equivalents, hydrobromide) salts, but in such cases bromide serves as an innocuous counterion of no biological significance. Other uses of organobromine compounds include high-density drilling fluids, dyes (such as Tyrian purple and the indicator bromothymol blue), and pharmaceuticals. Bromine itself, as well as some of its compounds, are used in water treatment, and is the precursor of a variety of inorganic compounds with an enormous number of applications (e.g. silver bromide for photography). Zinc–bromine batteries are hybrid flow batteries used for stationary electrical power backup and storage; from household scale to industrial scale. Bromine is used in cooling towers (in place of chlorine) for controlling bacteria, algae, fungi, and zebra mussels. Because it has similar antiseptic qualities to chlorine, bromine can be used in the same manner as chlorine as a disinfectant or antimicrobial in applications such as swimming pools. However, bromine is usually not used outside for these applications due to it being relatively more expensive than chlorine and the absence of a stabilizer to protect it from the sun. For indoor pools, it can be a good option as it is effective at a wider pH range. It is also more stable in a heated pool or hot tub.


Biological role and toxicity

A 2014 study suggests that bromine (in the form of bromide ion) is a necessary cofactor in the biosynthesis of collagen IV, making the element essential to
basement membrane The basement membrane is a thin, pliable sheet-like type of extracellular matrix that provides cell and tissue support and acts as a platform for complex signalling. The basement membrane sits between epithelial tissues including mesothelium an ...
architecture and tissue development in animals. Nevertheless, no clear deprivation symptoms or syndromes have been documented. In other biological functions, bromine may be non-essential but still beneficial when it takes the place of chlorine. For example, in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, HO, formed by the eosinophil, and either chloride or bromide ions, eosinophil peroxidase provides a potent mechanism by which eosinophils kill multicellular parasites (such as, for example, the nematode worms involved in filariasis) and some
bacteria Bacteria (; singular: bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometre The micrometre (Amer ...
(such as
tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by ''Mycobacterium tuberculosis'' (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections show no symptoms, in ...
bacteria). Eosinophil peroxidase is a haloperoxidase that preferentially uses bromide over chloride for this purpose, generating hypobromite ( hypobromous acid), although the use of chloride is possible. α-Haloesters are generally thought of as highly reactive and consequently toxic intermediates in organic synthesis. Nevertheless, mammals, including humans, cats, and rats, appear to biosynthesize traces of an α-bromoester, 2-octyl 4-bromo-3-oxobutanoate, which is found in their cerebrospinal fluid and appears to play a yet unclarified role in inducing REM sleep. Neutrophil myeloperoxidase can use HO and Br to brominate deoxycytidine, which could result in DNA mutations. Marine organisms are the main source of organobromine compounds, and it is in these organisms that bromine is more firmly shown to be essential. More than 1600 such organobromine compounds were identified by 1999. The most abundant is methyl bromide (CHBr), of which an estimated 56,000 tonnes is produced by marine algae each year. The essential oil of the Hawaiian alga '' Asparagopsis taxiformis'' consists of 80% bromoform. Most of such organobromine compounds in the sea are made by the action of a unique algal enzyme, vanadium bromoperoxidase. The bromide anion is not very toxic: a normal daily intake is 2 to 8 milligrams. However, high levels of bromide chronically impair the membrane of neurons, which progressively impairs neuronal transmission, leading to toxicity, known as bromism. Bromide has an elimination half-life of 9 to 12 days, which can lead to excessive accumulation. Doses of 0.5 to 1 gram per day of bromide can lead to bromism. Historically, the therapeutic dose of bromide is about 3 to 5 grams of bromide, thus explaining why chronic toxicity (bromism) was once so common. While significant and sometimes serious disturbances occur to neurologic, psychiatric, dermatological, and gastrointestinal functions, death from bromism is rare. Bromism is caused by a neurotoxic effect on the brain which results in somnolence, psychosis, seizures and delirium. Elemental bromine is toxic and causes chemical burns on human flesh. Inhaling bromine gas results in similar irritation of the respiratory tract, causing coughing, choking, shortness of breath, and death if inhaled in large enough amounts. Chronic exposure may lead to frequent bronchial infections and a general deterioration of health. As a strong oxidising agent, bromine is incompatible with most organic and inorganic compounds. Caution is required when transporting bromine; it is commonly carried in steel tanks lined with lead, supported by strong metal frames. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for bromine at a time-weighted average (TWA) of 0.1 ppm. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set a recommended exposure limit (REL) of TWA 0.1 ppm and a short-term limit of 0.3 ppm. The exposure to bromine immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) is 3 ppm. Bromine is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States as defined in Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. 11002), and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities.


Citations


General and cited references

* {{Authority control Chemical elements Diatomic nonmetals Gases with color Halogens Oxidizing agents Reactive nonmetals