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Bromoform Basic information

Product Name:
  • rcrawastenumberu225
  • Tribrommethaan
  • Tribrommethan
  • Tribromometan
  • tribromo-methan
  • tribromomethane(bromoform)
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Mol File:

Bromoform Chemical Properties

Melting point:
8 °C
Boiling point:
150 °C
2.89 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
vapor density 
8.7 (vs air)
vapor pressure 
5 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.595(lit.)
Flash point:
storage temp. 
Store at +15°C to +25°C.
water: soluble800 part(lit.)
13.7(at 25℃)
White to off-white
Chloroform-like odor
Water Solubility 
slightly soluble, 0.301 g/100 mL
Light Sensitive
Henry's Law Constant
3.36 at 20.0 °C, 7.09 at 35.0 °C, 20.5 at 50.0 °C (equilibrium static cell, Wright et al., 1992)
Exposure limits
NIOSH REL: TWA 0.5 ppm (5 mg/m3), IDLH 85e respiratory irritation (Patnaik, 1992).
Stability May be an explosion hazard, especially when heated. Stable, but light-sensitive. Non-flammable. Incompatible with chemically active metals, strong bases. May contain ca 1% ethanol or 1-pentene (amylene) as a stabilizer.
CAS DataBase Reference
75-25-2(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Methane, tribromo-(75-25-2)
3 (Vol. 52, 71) 1999
EPA Substance Registry System
Tribromomethane (75-25-2)

Safety Information

Hazard Codes 
Risk Statements 
Safety Statements 
UN 2515 6.1/PG 3
WGK Germany 
HS Code 
2903 39 19
Hazardous Substances Data
75-25-2(Hazardous Substances Data)
LD50 s.c. in mice: 7.2 mmol/kg (Kutob, Plaa)
850 ppm



Bromoform Usage And Synthesis

Chemical Properties

Bromoform is a colorless to pale yellow liquid with a high refractive index, very high density, and sweetish odor is similar to that of chloroform. It is slightly soluble in water and is nonflammable. Bromoform can form in drinking water as a by-product from the reaction of chlorine with dissolved organic matter and bromide ions.

Physical properties

Clear, colorless to yellow liquid with a chloroform-like odor. Odor threshold concentration in water is 0.3 mg/kg (Verschueren, 1982).


Bromoform is a colorless to yellow liquid with a density about three times that of water. It has an odor and sweetish taste similar to chloroform and is not combustible. It has been used as a degreasing solvent, in chemical synthesis, and in fire extinguishers, and is no longer used as a sedative for children with whooping cough. Currently, bromoform is produced only in small amounts for use in laboratories and in geological and electronics testing.


ChEBI: Bromoform is a member of bromomethanes and a bromohydrocarbon.


In separating mixtures of minerals. Bromoform is used as a fluid for mineral ore separation in geological tests, as a laboratory reagent, and in the electronics industry in quality assurance programs.
Bromoform was formerly used as a solvent for waxes, greases, and oils, as an ingredient in fire-resistant chemicals and in fluid gauges. It was also used in the early part of this century as a medicine to help children with whooping cough get to sleep. Currently, bromoform is only produced in small amounts for use in laboratories and in geological and electronics testing.


Bromoform can be prepared by reacting chloroform (see IAC, 1987) with aluminium tribromide at less th an or equal to 60°C; by reacting ethanol with sodium hypobromite; or by the redistribution reaction between chloroform and ethyl bromide (Harlow & Ross, 1932; Soroos & Hinkamp, 1945; Sherman & Kavasmaneck, 1980).

General Description

Bromoform appears as a colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor. Denser than water (density: 2.9 g / cm3 ) and slightly soluble in water. Hence sinks in water. Nonflammable. Toxic by ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption. A lachrymator. Used as a solvent and to make pharmaceuticals. Often stabilized with 1 to 3% ethanol.

Air & Water Reactions

Slightly soluble in water.

Reactivity Profile

Heating Bromoform to decomposition produces highly toxic fumes of carbon oxybromide (carbonyl bromide) and hydrogen bromide [Sax, 9th ed., 1996, p. 519]. Reaction with powdered potassium or sodium hydroxide, Li or Na/K alloys, is violently exothermic [Weizmann, C. et al., J. Am Chem. Soc., 1948, 70, p. 1189]. Explosive reaction with crown ethers in the presence of potassium hydroxide [Le Goaller, R. et al., Synth. Comm., 1982, 12, p. 1163].


A questionable carcinogen. By ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption. Liver damage, eye and upper respiratory tract irritant.

Health Hazard

Probable routes of human exposure to bromoform are inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact.
Harmful if inhaled, swallowed, contacts skin or eyes or is absorbed through skin. It is a lachrymator, respiratory irritant, a narcotic and an hepatotoxin. Prolonged exposure may cause dermatitis. Inhalation causes irritation of nose and throat; provokes the flow of tears and saliva and reddening of the face. Ingestion may cause dizziness, disorientation and slurred speech, unconsciousness and death.
Non-Cancer: Bromoform is a central nervous system depressant, and its vapors are highly irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. Limited observations in humans and animal studies indicate that acute inhalation or oral exposure to high levels of bromoform may cause liver and kidney injury. Chronic effects of bromoform exposure in humans have not been studied, although animal studies indicate adverse effects on the liver, kidney, and central nervous system (U.S. EPA, 1994a).

Fire Hazard

Behavior in Fire: May decompose to produce toxic gases and vapor such as hydrogen bromide and bromine.

Safety Profile

Suspected carcinogen with experimental neoplastigenic data. A human poison by ingestion. Moderately toxic by intraperitoneal and subcutaneous routes. Human mutation data reported. A lachrymator. It can damage the liver to a serious degree and cause death. It has anesthetic properties simdar to those of chloroform, but is not sufficiently volatile for inhalation purposes and is far too toxic for human use. As a sedative and antitussive its medicinal application has resulted in numerous poisonings. Inhalation of small amounts causes irritation, provoking the flow of tears and saliva, and reddening of the face. Abuse can lead to adhction and serious consequences. Explosive reaction with crown ethers or potassium hydroxide. Violent reaction with acetone or bases. Incompatible with Li or NaK alloys. When heated to decomposition it emits hghly toxic fumes of Br-. See also BROMIDES.

Environmental Fate

Biological. Bromoform showed significant degradation with gradual adaptation in a staticculture flask-screening test (settled domestic wastewater inoculum) conducted at 25 °C. At concentrations of 5 and 10 mg/L, percent losses after 4 wk of incubation were 48 and 35, respectively (Tabak et al., 1981).
Surface Water. Kaczmar et al. (1984) estimated the volatilization half-life of bromoform from rivers and streams to be 65.6 d.
Chemical/Physical. The estimated hydrolysis half-life in water at 25 °C and pH 7 is 686 yr (Mabey and Mill, 1978). Products of hydrolysis include carbon monoxide and hydrobromic acid (Kollig, 1993). When an aqueous solution containing bromoform was purged with hydrogen for 24 h, only 5% of the bromoform reacted to form methane and minor traces of ethane. In the presence of colloidal platinum catalyst, the reaction proceeded at a much faster rate forming the same end products (Wang et al., 1988). In an earlier study, water containing 2,000 ng/μL of bromoform and colloidal platinum catalyst was irradiated with UV light. After 20 h, about 50% of the bromoform had reacted. A duplicate experiment was performed but the concentration of bromoform was increased to 3,000 ng/μL and 0.1 g zinc was added. After 14 h, only 0.1 ng/μL bromoform remained. Anticipated transformation products include methane and bromide ions (Wang and Tan, 1988).
At influent concentrations of 1.0, 0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 mg/L, the adsorption capacities of the GAC used were 19.6, 5.9, 1.8, and 0.52 mg/g, respectively (Dobbs and Cohen, 1980).

Purification Methods

The storage and stability of bromoform and chloroform are similar. Ethanol, added as a stabilizer, is removed by washing with H2O or with saturated CaCl2 solution, and the CHBr3, after drying with CaCl2 or K2CO3, is fractionally distilled. Prior to distillation, CHBr3 has also been washed with conc H2SO4 until the acid layer is no longer coloured, then dilute NaOH or NaHCO3, and H2O. A further purification step is fractional crystallisation by partial freezing. [Beilstein 1 IV 82.]

Toxicity evaluation

Bromoform is not found as a liquid in the environment because it is expected to volatilize from dry soil surfaces due to its vapor pressure of 5.40mmHg at 25 °C. It is also expected to volatilize from moist or wet surfaces because Henry’s law constant is 5.4×10-4 atmm3 mol-1. Bromoform is expected to have high mobility in soil due to its Koc value of ~120. This low Koc value implies that bromoform will have only a little tendency to adsorb to soil or sediment from water sources. Bromoform does not hydrolyze in water. Bromoform undergoes limited biodegradation under aerobic conditions but is readily biodegraded in the presence of methane-producing bacteria under anaerobic conditions. Bromoform exhibits a low bioconcentration factor of 14, and little bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is expected.


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