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Hydrobromic Acid

One of the strongest known mineral acids, the hydrobromic acid is formed by dissolving hydrogen bromide...

Last Updated On: Thursday, June 17, 2010


One of the strongest known mineral acids, the hydrobromic acid is formed by dissolving hydrogen bromide in H2O i.e. water. The hydrobromic acid formula is 'Hbr'. The different names by which this acid is known are as follows: Acide bromhydrique, Acido bromidrico, Bromwasserstoff, Bromowodor, Hydrogenbromid, Bromure d'hydrogene and Bromuro de hidrogeno.

The hydrobromic acid can be prepared in laboratories with the following components: water, SO2 and Br2. In most of the cases, anyhydrous hydrobromic acid is prepared first and then dissolved in water. Apart from the industrial method of carrying out reaction between phosphorus, sulfur and water to produce hydrobromic acid, the electrolytic process is also used. Read aboutchemistry.

Hydrobromic Acid Properties
The properties of hydrobromic acid are enlisted below.

  • Color of hydrobromic acid can vary from clear/colorless to pale yellow and it exhibits a pungent odor.

  • The hydrobromic acid boiling point is 122 C, while the melting point is -11 C.

  • Hydrobromic acid has the specific gravity of 1.5 and it is termed as an infinitely soluble liquid.

  • This form of acid is stable at room temperature and can be easily stored without any king of problem. On exposure to light or air, the hydrobromic acid changes its color and becomes darker in shade.

  • The Hbr when comes in contact with any of the following substances, reacts violently: ammonia, fluorine gas, ozone, alkalis, ferric oxide, strong oxidizing agents and metals.

  • Toxic fumes of bromide are formed if HBr is heated to the point of decomposition.

  • The acid dissociation constant of hydrobromic acid is -9, which means that this acid is stronger than hydrochloric acid.

  • The hydrobromic acid is not compatible with substanceszinc, copper, brass and moisture.

  • Density of hydrobromic acid is 12.5 at 20 C.

Hydrobromic Acid Uses
The hydrobromic acid is available for sale in the market. Concentrations at which this acid is available are 48% and 62%. This acid has many applications that are enlisted below.

  • Hydrobromic acid is used in the hydrobromination of olefins.

  • The acid is also used for synthesizing alkyl bromides with the help of alcohol.

  • Inorganic bromides are synthesized with the help of hydrobromic acid

  • Hydrogen bromide acts as a catalyst in the oxidation process where alicyclic and aliphatic hydrocarbons are converted into peroxides, ketones and acids.

  • Applications of hydrogen bromide can be found in the industrial processes like polymerization, isomerization, dehydration, hydration and in esterification processes.

Hydrobromic Acid Handling Precautions
The hydrobromic acid is termed as a corrosive liquid and it can burn body tissues. Irritation is caused to the respiratory tract and eyes, if HBr comes in contact with them. Inhalation or swallowing of hydrobromic acids can lead to fatal consequences. It is recommended to open the container with hydrobromic acid in a room that has proper ventilation. One should wash the hands thoroughly after using hydrobromic acid. In case, the acid comes in contact with eyes, flushing with plenty of water is recommended; it should be done for minimum 15 minutes. If a person has by mistake, swallowed hydrobromic acid, he should be given water in large quantities. The affected person should never be induced to vomit.

The information about hydrobromic acid is presented in short, in the article above. The data presented in paragraphs above, discusses properties and uses of hydrobromic acid along with the safety precautions that need to be taken.


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