When you think about Bromine, you may imagine something reddish-brown. Gases containing bromine atoms have not such pleasing colours, have a foul smell, and they can irritate your nose and skin. The name bromine has derived from the Greek word ‘Bromos,’ which means something that smells bad. Its symbol is ‘Br’, and the bromine atomic number is 35. It’s a member of the halogen family of elements; fluorine, chlorine, and iodine are its companions. The Br element can cause serious health problems to humans. Nonetheless, it still is highly useful in our lives. Balard found this element in 1826. One of the fascinating things about Bromine is that it’s the only non-metallic element which is a liquid at room temperature. You can learn about properties, uses, and facts about Bromine further in this article.
Bromine is a chemical element with a fuming brown-red liquid. The noxious liquid is a member of the halogen family of the periodic table. It is the third-biggest halogen with an exceptional vapour pressure at room temperature. And it’s the only non-metallic element that stays in a liquid state at room temperature.
Before we move onto some unique properties of Br element, below are some fundamental physical properties.
Bromine belongs to the group – 17, period – 4, and block – p.
Bromine electron configuration is [Ar] 3d¹⁰ 4s² 4p⁵, and its atomic number is 35.
Its melting point is −7.2°C, 19°F, 266 K and boiling point is 58.8°C, 137.8°F, 332 K.
The relative atomic weight is 79.904, and it has a density of (g cm-3) 3.1028.
The appearance of an element is reddish-brown, and it has metallic lustre in solid-state.
Bromine has 29 known isotopes; it ranges from Br-69 to Br-97. And there are two stable isotopes Br-79 and Br-81.
Bromine has significantly high electron affinity, which is equivalent to chlorine. However, the oxidizing power of bromide is relatively low as bromide ion has weaker hydration than chloride ion.
Bromine gels violently with alkali metals and with aluminium, arsenic, phosphorus and antimony. But it combines less violently with other particular metals.
Bromine tends to displace hydrogen from saturated hydrocarbons and adds it to unsaturated hydrocarbons, but not as seamlessly as chlorine does.
Bromine has high first ionization energy and compounds that contain Bromine get stabilized by appropriate ligands, primarily oxygen and fluorine. Compounds having oxidation numbers +1, +3, +4, +5, and +7 all have covalent bonds.
Right from the discovery of Bromine, its compounds have a majority of applications across different industries. Below are some important purposes that bromine servers.
Water Purification: Purifying or disinfecting the water is a major use of Bromine. It serves as an alternative to chlorine. Brominated compounds get used to treating water in swimming pools and hot tubs. It also helps prevent algae and bacterial growth in industrial processes.
Pesticides: As you know that Bromine is poisonous to the human body, it also has a major application in pesticides. It can efficiently control insect infestations.
Healthcare: Brominated substances are an essential ingredient of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, which includes analgesics, antihistamines, and sedatives. Some drugs have been successful in treating pneumonia and cocaine addiction.
Photography: Many liquids get used to developing perfect photographs. Bromine compounds get used to making a vital light-sensitive part of a photographic emulsion. A picture wouldn’t be able to capture adequate light if not for bromine compounds. They also help with photo development.
Plastics: You must know that all plastics are not the same; you can say so by looking at your toys and other devices in your home. There is a unique plastic which is flame resistant. And Bromine gets used to manufacturing those flame-resistant products.
Elemental Bromine is poisonous, and it causes corrosion burns upon contact with the skin. Also, inhalation in low concentration lead to irritation and inhaling in higher concentration can cause death too.
Bromine ranks 64th in the list of most abundant elements found in earth’s crust, having an abundance of 2.4 mg/kg.
Elemental Bromine has a reddish-brown colour and a liquid state at room temperature. Mercury is the only other element that has a liquid state at room temperature.
1. Where Do You Find Bromine and How it Gets Used?
Bromine is one of the naturally occurring elements, and it’s in the liquid state at room temperature. Bromine looks brownish-red; it’s soluble in water and has a bleach-like smell. You can find it in the earth’s crust and seawater in different chemical forms. It is also present in swimming pools as an alternative to chlorine. Products containing Bromine get used in sanitation, agriculture, and as fire retardants. Historically, some bromine-containing compounds served as sedatives (drugs that make you feel sleepy and calm). They also serve as antihistamines and analgesics.
2. What are the Harmful Effects of Bromine?
Elemental Bromine is highly poisonous for the human body. It works by directly irritating the skin, tissues and mucous membrane. The severity of poisoning caused due to Bromine relies on the amount, length, and route of exposure. Age and pre-existing medical conditions also play a big role. Bromine can cause chemical burns on skin and flesh. Inflammation of the respiratory tract can occur upon inhaling the bromine gas. It may also lead to coughing, breath shortness, choking, etc. People who survive bromine poisoning may face serious health problems in future due to systematic poisoning.