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Uses of Bromine

Bromine, which has the chemical symbol Br and an atomic mass of 79.904, is a chemical element which belongs to the halogen element group. Elemental bromine is a brown-red liquid at room temperature which lets of fumes that are corrosive and toxic. Free bromine does not occur naturally but appears as a colorless crystallite substance. Here are some of the more common uses for bromine in the past and in the world today!

Uses of Bromine

  • The largest use of bromine is in flame retardants. When the bromine substance burns it effectively starves the fire of oxygen causing it to go out.
  • Bromide compounds, in particular potassium bromide, are used in medical circles as anticonvulsants. They are also used in veterinary sciences. Most countries severely limit the use and availability of bromine salts for human use due to the fact that it caused neurological dysfunction.
  • Brominated substances are important ingredients of many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including analgesics, sedatives, and antihistamines. In fact, bromine compounds are active ingredients in several drugs that treat pneumonia and cocaine addiction. Currently, several drugs containing bromine compounds are undergoing trials for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and new generations of anti-cancer and AIDS drugs.
  • Bromides that come from calcium, sodium and zinc as used to create special salt solutions for drilling.
  • Bromine is used to create brominated vegetable oils that are used as emulsifies in some brands of soft drink.
  • It is often used in the maintenance of swimming pools particularly in hot tubs.
  • It is used in water purification in industrial circumstances, disinfectants and insecticides
  • Bromine is used to reduce mercury pollution from coal fired power plants. This can be achieved either by treating activated carbon with bromine or by injecting bromine compounds onto the coal prior to combustion.
  • It is also used to create different colored dyes in the textile industry.
  • It is also being tested in batteries for electric cars to help electric cars produce zero emissions.
  • Ethylene bromine was used as a gasoline additive such as lead anti-engine knocking solutions. The combination of lead and bromine are highly combustible and pass out of the engine via the exhaust pipe. This use of bromine has decline since the 1970’s due to environmental concerns.
  • Methyl bromine was used as a highly poisonous pesticide to fumigate soil and housing using the tent method. It is no longer used in this manner as it is an ozone depleting substance and has been replaced by other less harmful chemicals.

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