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Bismuth Oxybromide, BiOBr

Bismuth Oxybromide, or Bismuthyl Bromide, BiOBr, can be obtained by the action of water on a solution of bismuth tribromide in hydrobromic acid; it is also believed to be formed by heating together bismuth tribromide and bismuth trioxide. By a suitable modification of the former method, the crystalline oxybromide may be obtained. The precipitated substance is obtained as a snow-white, amorphous powder of density (at 20° C.) 6.7. The crystalline form is colourless and transparent, density (at 15° C.) 8.082. It melts at a bright red heat, at which temperature bismuth tribromide volatilises; it darkens on exposure to light; it is insoluble in water, but dissolves in moderately dilute hydrobromic acid; it is decomposed by potassium hydroxide as follows:

BiOBr + KOHBiO.OH + KBr

Two other oxybromides have been reported, namely, Bi8O15Br6 and Bi11O13Br7 (or 7BiOBr.2Bi2O3), but their identities have not been confirmed.

Bismuth oxybromides are partially reduced to metal when heated to a dull red heat in a current of dry ammonia.

A basic salt, bismuth oxybromate, or bismuthyl bromate, BiOBrO3, has been obtained (mixed with some bismuthyl hydroxide, BiO.OH) by the prolonged action of an aqueous solution of bromic acid upon bismuth hydroxide. The mixture is a white, amorphous, insoluble powder which loses water between 150° and 200° C. and decomposes violently when strongly heated, leaving a residue of bismuth oxy-bromide. At the same time there is formed a soluble product, the solution of which decomposes on evaporation, with evolution of bromine, while the small amount of residue which is obtained decomposes at once in the air.

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