How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab

Written by charles clay
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How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
Bromine is a liquid element that mixes readily with water. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bromine water is a dilute solution of bromine used as a reagent in a range of chemical experiments. While it can be made in a chemistry lab by mixing the fumes of liquid bromine directly with water, this requires the use of a fume hood and heavy protective clothing, and is not suitable for beginning chemistry classes. A more convenient method of making bromine water uses bleach and hydrochloric acid to break down sodium bromide, avoiding the hazard of handling pure liquid bromine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass bottle with screw top
  • Flask or beaker
  • 1.1g sodium bromide
  • 10.7ml 1 M hydrochloric acid
  • 7.6ml bleach
  • 32ml distilled water

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  1. 1

    Label the bottle "bromine water" or "Br 2 (aq)."

  2. 2

    Dissolve the sodium bromine in the hydrochloric acid, mixing the compounds in a flask or beaker. Pour the mixture into the glass bottle.

  3. 3

    Add the bleach to the mixture in the bottle. Cap the bottle and swirl it gently to mix the ingredients.

  4. 4

    Dilute the mixture with distilled water, swirling gently to mix.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use scented or germicidal bleach for this solution. Check the label to ensure that the bleach is 100 per cent sodium hypochlorite.
  • Bromine water is corrosive and gives off hazardous fumes. Wear goggles and chemical-resistant gloves when mixing or working with bromine water, and only use bromine water in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep bromine water capped when not in use to minimise the spread of fumes.

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