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boron bromide formula (BBr3) is a strong Lewis acid used for the demethylation of alkyl ethers. It also finds use in olefin polymerization and Friedel-Crafts chemistry as a Lewis acid catalyst.
BBr3 is available as a stoichiometric 1M solution in dimethyl ether, hexane or heptane. BBr3 is moisture sensitive so reactions should be carried out under anhydrous conditions.
Boric tribromide is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor. It is soluble in water, alcohols and acids. It has a melting point of -46°C and boiling point of 91°C. It has a density of 2.643 g/ml.
It reacts with moisture to form a flammable gas, hydrogen bromide. It is toxic to the upper respiratory tract.
Boron is an element which occurs naturally in rocks and soil, as well as being found combined with oxygen in boron compounds. It is commonly released to the environment from volcanoes and geothermal steam.
Low levels of boron are found in drinking water, food and some consumer products. However, industrial exposure to boron can lead to short-term respiratory irritation from breathing boron dust and fumes.
Long-term exposure to boron can cause severe skin damage, loss of hair, and reproductive effects. It may cause anorexia, confusion and weakness if it is ingested or inhaled.
Boron is a widely used element in a variety of industries including glass works, fire retardants, leather tanning industries and the nuclear industry. It is also used in some pesticides and wood preservatives.