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- Molecular formula: Br
- Molar mass: 79.904
- CAS Registry Number: Not available
- Appearance: Not available
- Melting point: Not available
- Boiling point: Not available
- Solubility: Not available
- Safety sheet: Not available
- Spectra: Check on SDBS. Add Spectra (Help).
Bromine is a chemical element with symbol Br and atomic number 35. It is the third-lightest halogen, and is a fuming red-brown liquid at room temperature that evaporates readily to form a similarly coloured gas. Its properties are thus intermediate between those of chlorine 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 βρῶμος "stench", referencing its sharp and disagreeable smell.
Elemental bromine is very reactive and thus does not occur free in nature, but in colourless soluble crystalline mineral halide salts, analogous to table salt. 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 pools, mostly in the United States, Israel and China. The mass of bromine in the oceans is about one three-hundredth of that of chlorine.
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. Unfortunately, the same property causes sunlight to dissociate volatile organobromine compounds in the atmosphere to yield free bromine atoms, causing ozone depletion. As a result, many organobromide 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.
Bromine has sometimes been considered to be possibly essential in humans, but this is supported by only limited circumstantial evidence, and no clear biological role. 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.
Bromanyl (IUPAC Name)
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