Symbol: Br; m.p. –7.25°C; b.p. 58.78°C; r.d. 3.12 (20°C); p.n. 35; r.a.m. 79.904.
A deep red, moderately reactive element belonging to the halogens; i.e. group 17 (formerly VIIA) of the periodic table. Bromine is a liquid at room temperature (mercury is the only other element with this property).
It occurs in small amounts in seawater, salt lakes, and salt deposits but is much less abundant than chlorine. Bromine reacts with most metals but generally with less vigor than chlorine. It has less oxidizing power than chlorine and consequently can be released from solutions of bromides by reaction with chlorine gas. The laboratory method is the more convenient oxidation by manganese dioxide. Industrial methods of production utilize oxidation by chlorine or electrolysis with removal from the solution by purging with air. Bromine and its compounds are used in pharmaceuticals, photography, chemical synthesis, fumigants, and in significantly large quantities as 1,2- dibromoethane (which is added to gasoline to combine with lead produced from the decomposition of the antiknock agent lead tetraethyl). The electropositive elements form ionic bromides and the non-metals form fully covalent bromides. Like chlorine, bromine forms oxides, Br₂O and BrO₂ both of which are unstable. The related oxo-acid anions hypobromite (BrO⁻) and bromate (BrO₃⁻) are formed by the reaction of bromine with cold aqueous alkali and hot aqueous alkali respectively, but the bromine analogs of chlorite and perchlorate are not known. Bromine and the interhalogens are highly toxic. Liquid bromine and bromine solutions are also very corrosive and goggles and gloves should always be worn when handling such compounds.