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Category: Bromine Products

Bromine (atomic symbol: Br, atomic number: 35) is a Block P, Group 17, Period 4 element. Its electron configuration is [Ar]4s23d104p5.

Bromine Trifluoride

Bromine trifluoride is a toxic interhalogen compound. It is known for its uses as a strong fluorinating agent.

Identification of Bromine Trifluoride

CAS Number: 7787-71-5

UN Number: UN1746

PubChem Compound ID: 24594

ChemSpider Reference Number: 20474213

MDL number: MFCD00042533

EC Number: 232-132-1

RTECS Number: ED2275000

InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/BrF3/c2-1(3)4


Chemical Formula for Bromine Trifluoride

The chemical formula for this interhalogen compound is BrF3.

Bromine trifluoride Picture

Picture 1 – Bromine Trifluoride

Production of Bromine Trifluoride

In the year 1906, Paul Lebeau synthesized this compound for the first time by reacting bromine with fluorine at a temperature of 20°C. The reaction is represented by the following equation:

Br2 + 3F2 → 2BrF3

Another way of producing Bromine Trifluoride is to simultaneously reduce and oxidize Bromine Monofluoride. This reaction produces Bromine Trifluoride and bromine.

3BrF → BrF3 + Br2

Composition of Bromine Trifluoride

Bromine trifluoride is composed of 58.367% of bromine and 41.632% of fluorine.

Properties of Bromine Trifluoride

The physical and chemical properties of this substance are discussed below:


It is a straw-colored liquid.


The chemical has a pungent odor.


It is a hygroscopic liquid.

Molar Mass

The molar mass of Bromine trifluoride is 136.90 g/mol.

Monoisotopic Mass

The monoisotopic mass of this substance is 135.913547 u (unified atomic mass units).


The density of the substance is 2.803 g/cm3.

Melting Point

The melting point of Bromine trifluoride is 8.77°C.

Boiling Point

The boiling point of this substance is 125.72°C.


Due to autoionization, the liquid is a good conductor of electricity.


It is a corrosive liquid.

Specific gravity

The specific gravity of Bromine trifluoride is 2.81 at a temperature of 68.0°F.

Dipole moment

The molecular dipole moment of this substance is 1.19 Debye.


Bromine trifluoride is soluble in sulfuric acid. It decomposes and explodes when it comes in contact with organic compounds and water. Reactions with hydrogen-containing compounds can cause violent reactions. Many ionic fluorides easily dissolve in Bromine trifluoride and form solvobases.

KF + BrF3 → KBrF4

Apart from the above mentioned properties, Bromine trifluoride is also a powerful fluorinating agent.

Structure of Bromine Trifluoride

The Lewis structure of Bromine trifluoride shows that it has a T-shaped molecular structure. According to VSEPR theory of molecular formation, the central bromine is connected with two electron pairs. Distance between the bromine center and the equatorial fluorine is 1.72 Å and to each of the axial fluorine is 1.81 Å. The angle between the equatorial fluorine and an axial fluorine is 86.2°. The angle is kept slightly less than 90° as the force of repulsion from the Br-F bonds is lower than the force of the electron pairs.

Reactions of Bromine Trifluoride

Bromine Trifluoride on reaction with metal oxides gives out oxygen. When Bromine Trifluoride reacts with silicon dioxide, it produces gaseous Silicon Tetrafluoride and Bromine.

In a reaction between Bromine Trifluoride and Titanium(IV) Oxide, Titanium(IV) Fluoride and Bromine are produced.

Uses of Bromine Trifluoride

Bromine Trifluoride is a strong ionizing inorganic solvent and a fluorinating agent. It is also used for manufacturing Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) while processing and reprocessing nuclear fuel.

Matrial Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)s of Bromine Trifluoride

Health Hazards

A human being exposed to Bromine Trifluoride can suffer from the following health problems:

Skin contact: Skin contact with this chemical can lead to burning and irritating sensations.

Eye contact: If the eyes come in contact with the chemical vapors or the chemical itself, it can lead to severe burning of the eyes, ulcers and even blindness.

Ingestion: Ingestion leads to severe burning of the mucous membranes.

Inhalation: Inhalation can lead to severe irritation of the upper respiratory system.

First Aid Measures

Eyes: The eyes need to be thoroughly washed with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. A doctor needs to be consulted immediately.

Skin: If the skin gets in contact with the chemical, the infected areas should be washed well with water and soap for a minimum of 15 minutes. Immediate medical attention is required. The contaminated clothing needs to be removed quickly. The clothes should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before reuse. The contaminated shoes should be destroyed.

Ingestion: In case of an accidental ingestion, the victim should drink plenty of water. Inducing vomiting is not recommended.

Inhalation: In case of any adverse effects, the victim should be taken to an uncontaminated area. Artificial respiration needs to be applied in case the victim is not breathing. If breathing and respiration is still difficult, oxygen should be administered. Further medical assistance is required to ensure safety of the victim.

Reactivity Profile

Bromine Trifluoride is a highly reactive oxidizing agent. It reacts violently when it comes in contact with water. It can accelerate the burning of a combustible substance. When it comes in contact with hydrogen-containing substances such as acetic acid, ammonia and methane, it can cause an explosion and fire. It also reacts violently with acids, halogens, metal halides, metals and metal oxides at room temperature. It specifically causes dangerous reactions with Nitric acid, Sulfuric acid, Iodine and Selenium.

Fire Fighting Measures

Bromine Trifluoride is an oxidizing agent and so it can ignite or explode when it comes in contact with combustibles.

In case of large fires, the area should be isolated and flooded with water from a safe distance. If containers storing Bromine Trifluoride are near fire, they should be removed if it could be done safely. The containers should be cooled with flowing water even long after the fire has been extinguished.

Fire Extinguishing Media: Proper fire extinguishing media needs to be used while putting off fire. Usage of water, dry chemical or soda ash is recommended for extinguishing fire.

Accidental Release Measures

The combustible materials should be isolated and any connection with them should be avoided. The spilled material should not be touched. Chemical leakage should be stopped if it is possible to do so without personal risk. Prevalence of chemical vapors should be reduced with water spray. Care should be taken not to get water inside the chemical containers. For large spills, the chemicals should be quarantined for being disposed off later. The area should be ventilated properly.

Handling of Bromine Trifluoride

Handling of this material is subjected to handling regulations under U.S. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119.

Storage of Bromine Trifluoride

The chemical should be stored and handled according to the current standards and regulations of NFPA 430 Code for the storage of Liquid and Solid Oxidizing Materials. The chemical containers should be protected from any kind of physical damage. They should also be kept away from any incompatible substances.

Personal Protection

While handling this chemical, adequate protection needs to be taken. Proper protection gear should be used. These should ideally include:

  • MSHA/NIOSH (approved or equivalent) self-contained breathing apparatus having pressure-demand oxygen masks is required for proper respiration.
  • OSHA-approved protective eyewear or safety goggles are required to protect the eyes.
  • To protect the skin from harmful infections resulting from chemical contact, protective clothing and gloves should be used.

Apart from the above mentioned protection gear, the area should also be well ventilated. The ventilation mechanism should be resistant to explosions in case explosive concentrations of the chemical are present. A local exhaust system should also be provided.






Carbon Tetrabromide

Carbon Tetrabromide, also known as Tetrabromomethane, is a kind of carbon bromide. Both the names are accepted by the IUCN depending on whether it is considered to be an organic or inorganic compound. This chemical compound is used for different purposes in various industries.

Identification of Carbon Tetrabromide

  • CAS number: 558-13-4
  • PubChem: 11205
  • ChemSpider: 10732
  • EC number: 209-189-6
  • UN number: 2516
  • ChEBI: CHEBI: 47875
  • RTECS number: FG4725000

Preparation of Carbon Tetrabromide

This compound can be prepared by the bromination of methane (CH4). The reaction also uses hydrogen bromide (HBr) or bromine (Br2). The reaction between methane and bromine occurs in the following way:

Carbon Tetrabromide Picture

Picture 1 – Carbon Tetrabromide

CH4 + 2Br2 = CBr4 (Carbon Tetrabromide) + 2H2

It can also be prepared in a more economic way using tetrachloromethane with aluminum bromide. This reaction takes place in 100 °C temperature.

Formula of Carbon Tetrabromide

The molecular formula for Carbon Tetrabromide is CBr4.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Carbon Tetrabromide

Appearance: This compound has a colorless crystalline appearance.

Odor: It has a slight distinctive odor.

Density: It has a density of 3.42 g /cm3 in its solid state. Liquid Carbon Tetrabromide has a density of 2.961 g/cm3 at 100 °C temperature.

Solubility: It is insoluble in water.

Molar Mass: The molar mass of this compound is 331.63 g /mol.

Melting Point: The melting point of this material is 91.0 °C.

Boiling Point: Its boiling point is 189.5 °C.

Vapor Pressure: It has a vapor pressure of 5.33 kPa at 96.3 °C temperature.

Structure of Carbon Tetrabromide

This crystalline compound has a monoclinic crystal structure. The molecules of Carbon Tetrabromide are tetrahedral. It means the atoms are arranged in a tetrahedral manner inside each molecule of this compound.

Plastic Crystallinity of Carbon Tetrabromide

The high temperature alpha (α) phase of the Carbon Tetrabromide molecules is called a plastic crystal phase. These molecules are positioned on the corners as well as the center of the faces of the cubic unit cell in an fcc arrangement. Earlier it was believed that the molecules of this compound were able to rotate almost freely (a ‘rotor phase’), which could make them look like spheres after an average time. However, resent studies show them to be restricted to 6 possible orientations (Frankel disorder). In addition, these molecular orientations do not occur entirely independently. Sometimes the bromine atoms of different neighboring molecules come very close to each other leaving little space for independent orientation. This prevents certain orientational combinations between two neighboring molecules. These problems cause significant amounts of disorder inside the crystals of this carbon bromide compound leading to high-structured sheets of diffuse intensity in X ray diffraction. The defense intensity structure provides detailed information about this structure.

Reactions of Carbon Tetrabromide

This crystalline compound is used in the Appel reaction along with triphenylphosphine. Appel reaction is an organic reaction in which alcohols are converted to alkyl bromides. Carbon Tetrabromide is used for this purpose as it shows much less stability than lighter tetrahalomethanes.

Uses of Carbon Tetrabromide

There are many industrial applications of this carbon bromide such as:

  • It is commonly used as a solvent for waxes, greases and oils.
  • Carbon Tetrabromide is applied for the purpose of blowing and vulcanization in rubber and plastic industries.
  • This compound is used as a polymerizing agent.
  • It also has intermediate applications in agrochemical manufacturing.
  • It is used as sedative.
  • This non-flammable material is often used for producing fire resistant chemicals and various photochemical compounds.
  • Due to its high density, it is used for separating different minerals.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)s of Carbon Tetrabromide

This crystalline compound can cause serious health hazards in case of over exposure. It is important to take proper precautions while handling this material.


This substance can have hazardous health effects in case of eye contact, inhalation and ingestion. It can also cause skin irritation if comes to direct contact. This material can be toxic to different human organs such as lungs, kidney, liver and upper respiratory tract.

First Aid Measures

Eye Contact: In case of direct eye contact, one should immediately remove any contact lenses. It is important to flush the eyes with plenty of lukewarm water at least for 15 minutes. Immediate medical assistance is required.

Skin Contact: The victim should wash the affected skin area with a disinfectant soap and plenty of water. Applying an Emollient can help in reducing the irritation. One should get medical assistance if the irritation persists.

Inhalation: The victim should be removed to fresh air. One should loosen any tight clothing such as collar, belt and tie. Oxygen or artificial respiration should be provided if the victim is experiencing breathing difficulty. Performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can be hazardous for the person providing the aid. Immediate medical attention is required.

Ingestion: It is not advisable to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion of this material. Tight clothing should be removed. One should never give anything by mouth if the victim is unconscious. It is important to obtain medical aid as soon as possible in case large amounts of this material have been ingested.

Personal Safety Measures

NIOSH approved dust respirator, lab coats, safety goggles and protective gloves should be used for proper personal protection.

Fire Fighting Measures

Carbon Tetrabromide is a non-flammable substance. However, the containers storing this substance may explode when comes to contact with heat. Due to this reason, fire fighters should use proper fire fighting gear and protective clothing when extinguishing a fire around it.

Accidental Release Measure

One can use a shovel to clean this material in case of large spillage. Proper waste disposal containers should be used for disposing of the spilled material.

Storage Instruction

It should be stored in tightly sealed containers in a cool and well ventilated area.

Availability of Carbon Tetrabromide

This colorless crystalline compound is available in various purity grades. Numerous companies around the world supply this material.

Carbon Tetrabromide is one of the most useful carbon bromides with various industrial applications. The relatively simple production method is one of the main reasons for its wide industrial uses.







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