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The hypobromite ion, also called alkaline bromine water, is BrO<sup>−</sup>. Bromine is in the +1 oxidation state. Hypobromite is the bromine compound analogous to hypochlorites found in common bleaches, and in immune cells. In many ways, hyprobromite functions in the same manner as hypochlorite, and is also used as a germicide and antiparasitic in both industrial applications, and in the immune system.


Bromine is added to an aqueous hydroxide (such as sodium or potassium hydroxide). At 20 °C the reaction is rapid.

Br<sub>2</sub>(l) + 2OH<sup>−</sup>(aq) → Br<sup>−</sup>(aq) + BrO<sup>−</sup>(aq) + H<sub>2</sub>O(l)

In this reaction the bromine disproportionates (undergoes both reduction and oxidation) from oxidation state 0 (Br<sub>2</sub>) to oxidation state -1 (Br<sup>−</sup>) and oxidation state +1 (BrO<sup>−</sup>).

A secondary reaction, where hypobromite spontaneously disproportionates to bromide (bromine oxidation state -1) and bromate (bromine oxidation state +5) takes place rapidly at 20 °C and slowly at 0 °C.

3BrO<sup>−</sup>(aq) → 2Br<sup>−</sup>(aq) + BrO<sub>3</sub><sup>−</sup>(aq)

Hence, in reaction 2, the formation and proportions of the -1, +1 and +5...
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