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Where to acquire a small amount of bromine

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Ian Parkin06/02/2020 13:34:48
949 forum posts
225 photos

I need for a photography project a small amount of bromine

has anyone an idea where I can find such?

Don Cox06/02/2020 14:33:57
55 forum posts

I don't know if it's the same stuff, but Hot Tubs use it in powder, or in tablet, form as a disinfectant, I would have thought an owner of such would be prepared to donate you some.


John Haine06/02/2020 14:43:50
3874 forum posts
224 photos

Bromine is a gas, liquid at room temperature IIRC my A level chemistry. It is an element in the same group as chlorine and fluorine in the periodic table. Nasty, corrosive stuff, used alongside chlorine as a poison gas I think in WW1. See: **LINK**

Do you really need bromine as such or a bromide? (E.g. silver bromide.)

pgk pgk06/02/2020 14:58:42
2125 forum posts
290 photos
Posted by John Haine on 06/02/2020 14:43:50:

Bromine is a gas, liquid at room temperature IIRC my A level chemistry. It is an element in the same group as chlorine and fluorine in the periodic table. Nasty, corrosive stuff, used alongside chlorine as a poison gas I think in WW1. See: **LINK**

Do you really need bromine as such or a bromide? (E.g. silver bromide.)

Silver bromide on ebay is quite breathtakingly expensive. As a pure aside we used to use Potassium bromide powder (cheap) weighed out for solution as an anticonvulsent in dogs before the tablets became available.



Edited By pgk pgk on 06/02/2020 14:59:01

Ian Parkin06/02/2020 16:11:43
949 forum posts
225 photos

I’m sensitising a silver plate with iodine and then making it more sensitive with the bromine so i need the liquid element

peak406/02/2020 16:33:59
1408 forum posts
159 photos

Fisher Scientific certainly sell it, but where the quantities are small enough for your needs is a different matter

The brand name might give you something to search on.

It used to be much easier when we could just pop down to Prestons on West St.



Edited By peak4 on 06/02/2020 16:36:55

Neil Wyatt06/02/2020 16:37:52
18630 forum posts
726 photos
79 articles

You don't need pure bromine, I imagine, just bromine water?

I found this, which I recall is how schools (used to) do it:

Make up a bottle using cleapss method (12g potassium bromide and 14ml of 2M hcl make up to a litre with water, mix well and leave for 24hr).


V8Eng06/02/2020 16:49:57
1597 forum posts
32 photos

Photo chemicals

These people (link above) were used by a former colleague who dabbled in old photo processes a long time ago now, might be worth checking out.

Edited By V8Eng on 06/02/2020 16:52:41

Edited By V8Eng on 06/02/2020 16:54:30

Ian Parkin06/02/2020 17:13:10
949 forum posts
225 photos

I believe that i need bromine which will fume and sensitise the plates

fishers seem to have what i need thanks for that bill

just remains to see if they will sell it to me

Versaboss06/02/2020 17:28:17
468 forum posts
51 photos

Used to make it myself when I was 13 years old (read: looong ago...). Cant remember the method, but most probably the one using KBr, MnO2 and sulphuric acid. See Wikipedia.

Kind regards,

(still around, no self poisoning...)

Georgineer06/02/2020 17:33:31
515 forum posts
30 photos

Bromine is horribly corrosive to flesh and causes burns which are very difficult to heal. I knew somebody who had a hideous scar on one hand from bromine. I can't believe that bromine vapour is any better for your lungs, quite apart from its smell. I understand that the name comes from the Greek 'bromos' which means a stench. Bromine water smells bad enough, but is useful in testing for unsaturated hydrocarbons.

Fun fact: only two elements are liquid at room temperature, bromine and mercury.

George B.

Edited By Georgineer on 06/02/2020 17:34:00

Nick Clarke 306/02/2020 18:50:38
1212 forum posts
49 photos

Your plate, even with the dual sensitisation will be incredibly slow and developing with mercury is definitely a no-no!

Have you considered the Bequerel process??

Bequerel Process

mark smith 2006/02/2020 20:16:22
680 forum posts
337 photos

Sounds like your dabbling with the Daguerrotype process. Bromine is nasty stuff ,not something you should mess with outside a fume cupboard. It has the same health rating as other nasties like hydrogen cyanide.

SillyOldDuffer06/02/2020 21:03:46
7234 forum posts
1595 photos


The flasks should probably be ground glass stoppered rather than rubber or cork.

Potassium Bromide and Manganese Dioxide are both readily available. Strong Sulphuric Acid is controlled, but 40% is roughly the strength used in Car Batteries.

Note warnings in other posts about toxicity and my photo instructions mention of a Fume Cupboard. Nasty stuff - under no circumstances get any in your lungs or eyes.


Alan Charleston07/02/2020 04:50:42
108 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Ian,

I used to use bromine in a lab. Mark and Dave are right about using and storing it in a fume hood - it's nasty stuff. Although the boiling point is 59C, it has an appreciable vapour pressure at room temperature and gives off brown fumes which are as toxic as chlorine which was the first poisonous gas used during the First World War and has been used in Syria. I would suggest that unless you've had more than just secondary school training in chemistry that you give it a miss.



not done it yet07/02/2020 08:23:14
5948 forum posts
20 photos

I agree entirely with Alan - likewise, I have worked with it a long time ago. One would not contemplate working with these free Group seven elements - Fluorine, Chlorine or Bromine - any more than the lower Group one elements - Caesium, Potassium or Sodium - without taking careful precautions during their manipulation.

These Group seven elements are even more potentially dangerous than the metals, because of their physical form. Being a volatile liquid, the risks with Bromine are obviously slightly different to the gases but the liquid contact can create a particularly nasty outcome for the user. Inhalation is a definite no-no, just like the gases.

Doubtless there are warnings on the internet. These need to be heeded!

Nick Clarke 307/02/2020 10:46:06
1212 forum posts
49 photos

All of the risks that have been mentioned are important and the warnings useful - But am I alone in worrying that the suggestions for the use of bromine is in the Tea Room Forum?

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 07/02/2020 10:46:23

Journeyman07/02/2020 11:29:18
985 forum posts
182 photos
Posted by Nick Clarke 3 on 07/02/2020 10:46:06:

the use of bromine is in the Tea Room Forum?

Are you perhaps referring to the WW1 myth concerning the use of the anaphrodisiac potassium bromide as an additive to soldier's tea to prevent "lustful behaviour"? If so most on here, including me, are probably past the age of worrying about that sort of thingblush


roy entwistle07/02/2020 11:29:53
1352 forum posts

Nick Could you be thinking of bromide ( army days ? )


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