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Bromoform (CHBr3) is a brominated organic solvent, colorless liquid at room temperature, with a high refractive index, very high density, and sweet odor is similar to that of chloroform. It is a trihalomethane, and is one of the four haloforms, the others being fluoroform, chloroform, and iodoform. Bromoform can be prepared by the haloform reaction using acetone and sodium hypobromite, by the electrolysis of potassium bromide in ethanol, or by treating chloroform with aluminium bromide. Currently its main use is as a laboratory reagent.

Skeletal formula of bromoform
Stereo, skeletal formula of bromoform with the explicit hydrogen added
Spacefill model of bromoform
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.777
EC Number 200-854-6
MeSH bromoform
RTECS number PB5600000
UN number 2515
Molar mass 252.731 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 2.89 g mL−1
Melting point −4 to 16 °C; 25 to 61 °F; 269 to 289 K
Boiling point 147 to 151 °C; 296 to 304 °F; 420 to 424 K
3.2 g L−1 (at 30 °C)
log P 2.435
Vapor pressure 670 Pa (at 20.0 °C)
17 μmol Pa−1 kg−1
Acidity (pKa) 13.7
-82.60·10−6 cm3/mol
130.5 J K−1 mol−1
6.1–12.7 kJ mol−1
−549.1–−542.5 kJ mol−1
Safety data sheet See: data page
GHS pictograms The skull-and-crossbones pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) The environment pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
GHS signal word DANGER
H302, H315, H319, H331, H411
P261, P273, P305+351+338, P311
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., waterHealth code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g., chlorine gasReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
933.0 mg kg−1 (oral, rat)
1400 mg/kg (mouse, oral)
1147 mg/kg (rat, oral)[3]
1151 ppm (mammal)[3]
4282 ppm (rat, 4 hr)
7000 ppm (dog, 1 hr)[3]
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 0.5 ppm (5 mg/m3) [skin][2]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 0.5 ppm (5 mg/m3) [skin][2]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
850 ppm[2]
Related compounds
Related alkanes
Supplementary data page
Refractive index (n),
Dielectric constantr), etc.
Phase behaviour
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references
A bottle of bromoform with some in the adjacent beaker



The molecule adopts tetrahedral molecular geometry with C3v symmetry.


Only small quantities of bromoform are currently produced industrially in the United States. In the past, it was used as a solvent, sedative and flame retardant, but now it is mainly used as a laboratory reagent, for example as an extraction solvent.

Bromoform's high density makes it useful for separation of minerals by density. When two samples are mixed with bromoform and then allowed to settle, the top layer will contain minerals less dense than bromoform, and the bottom layer will contain denser minerals. Slightly less dense minerals can be separated in the same way by mixing the bromoform with a small amount of a less dense and fully miscible solvent.

Environment and ToxicologyEdit

Natural production of bromoform by phytoplankton and seaweeds in the ocean is thought to be its predominant source in the environment.[4] However, locally significant amounts of bromoform enter the environment formed as disinfection byproducts known as trihalomethanes when chlorine is added to drinking water to kill bacteria. It is somewhat soluble in water and readily evaporates into the air. Bromoform is the main trihalomethane produced in beachfront salt water swimming pools with concentrations as high as 1.2 ppm (parts per million). Concentrations in freshwater pools are 1000 times lower.[5] Occupational skin exposure limits are set at 0.5 ppm.[6]

The substance may be hazardous to the environment, and special attention should be given to aquatic organisms. Its volatility and environmental persistence makes bromoform's release, either as liquid or vapor, strongly inadvisable.

Bromoform can be absorbed into the body by inhalation and through the skin. The substance is irritating to the respiratory tract, the eyes, and the skin, and may cause effects on the central nervous system and liver, resulting in impaired functions. It is soluble in about 800 parts water and is miscible with alcohol, benzene, chloroform, ether, petroleum ether, acetone, and oils. Its LD50 is 7.2 mmol/kg in mice, or 1.8g/kg. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that bromoform is not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity. The EPA classified bromoform as a probable human carcinogen.[7][8]


  • Betterton E. A.; Arnold R. G.; Kuhler R. J.; Santo G. A. (June 2005). "Reductive dehalogenation of bromoform in aqueous solution". Environ. Health Perspect. Brogan &#38. 103: 89–91(3). doi:10.2307/3432487. JSTOR 3432487. PMC 1519304. PMID 8565919. PDF
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Toxicological Profile for Bromoform and Dibromochloromethane [1]. August 2005.
  1. ^ a b Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry : IUPAC Recommendations and Preferred Names 2013 (Blue Book). Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry. 2014. p. 661. doi:10.1039/9781849733069-FP001. ISBN 978-0-85404-182-4. The retained names ‘bromoform’ for HCBr3, ‘chloroform’ for HCCl3, and ‘iodoform’ for HCI3 are acceptable in general nomenclature. Preferred IUPAC names are substitutive names.
  2. ^ a b c d e NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0066". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  3. ^ a b c "Bromoform". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  4. ^ Palmer C J and Reason C J (2009), Relationships of surface bromoform concentrations with mixed layer depth and salinity in the tropical oceans (2009), Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, GB2014.
  5. ^ Beech AJ et al (1980) Nitrates, Chlorates and Trihalomethanes in Swimming Pool Water. Am J Public Health, 70(1), 79-82
  6. ^ CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
  7. ^ IARC -
  8. ^ ATSDR -

External linksEdit