Hydrobromic Acid: Uses and Properties

Hydrobromic acid or hydronium bromide is formed by adding hydrogen bromide to water. It is a strong mineral acid, due to the high electronegativity of bromine that, in its turn, causes the hydrogen-bromine bond to become ionized easily. The chemical formula of hydrobromic acid is HBr(aq), the molar mass – 80.91 g/mol.

In laboratory, the solution is usually received as by-product in the course of the reaction of water, bromine and sulfur dioxide. Industrially, it is prepared by mixing potassium bromide with sulfuric acid. After that, the solution is either treated or diluted, to make it available in different concentrations.

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Uses and Properties

Hydrobromic acid is a colorless or faint yellow liquid with the CAS number 10035-10-6, the boiling point 122oC and the melting point -11oC. The substance has a strong acrid scent. It is corrosive to most metals and highly reactive. When reacting with bases the compound forms bromide salts. Contact with strong oxidants and some organic compounds may result in fire and explosion hazard.

Hydrobromic acid uses in chemical laboratories and industrial processes are quite diverse. In organic chemistry, it serves as a reagent in oxidation and catalysis processes. Industrially, it is used to produce inorganic bromides and organobromine compounds. Besides, it takes part in the extraction of certain metal ores.

The chemical may cause severe tissue damage. Its vapor is toxic and leads to strong irritation of respiratory system and mucous membranes. The ingestion of the substance causes stomach and mouth burns. Any of the abovementioned cases require immediate medical attention.

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