Chem Explorers

The Dangerous Side of Potassium Bromate: Health Hazards and Precautions

Potassium Bromate: Solubility, Preparation, and Properties

Potassium bromate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula KBrO3, consisting of a potassium cation and a bromate anion. This salt is a powerful oxidizing agent that has been used in many industries, especially in the baking industry.

In this article, we will explore the solubility, properties, identification, and preparation of potassium bromate.

Solubility and Properties of Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is an ionic compound made of positively charged potassium ions (K+) and negatively charged bromate ions (BrO3-). It is highly soluble in water, with a solubility of 60 grams per 100 milliliters of water at 25C.

Potassium bromate is a Lewis acid/base complex, meaning it can act as both an acid and a base. It is highly oxidizing and can easily react with other chemicals to transfer electrons.

This salt has a few notable properties that are important in various industries where it is used. For example, its oxidizing properties make it useful in the baking industry, where it is added to flour to improve the dough’s strength and elasticity.

Additionally, potassium bromate is used to bleach flour, which gives it a whiter appearance.

Identification Details of Potassium Bromate

The identification of potassium bromate is straightforward thanks to its characteristic properties and identifiers. The CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number for potassium bromate is 7758-01-2, and its PubChem CID (Compound Identifier) is 23673426.

The ChemSpider ID is 2282760, and its EC (European Community) number is 231-829-8.

Preparation of Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is produced industrially by reacting potassium hydroxide (KOH) with bromine (Br2). The following chemical equation illustrates the reaction that occurs:

Br2 + 6KOH KBrO3 + 3KBr + 3H2O

This reaction produces potassium bromate, potassium bromide, and water.

The potassium bromate can be isolated from the reaction mixture through various methods such as recrystallization or fractional crystallization. Potassium bromate is also found naturally in the atmosphere, where it is produced through the photolysis of ozone (O3) in the presence of bromide ions (Br-).

Conclusion

In conclusion, potassium bromate is a fascinating and useful chemical compound with many applications in various industries, especially in baking. Its properties, solubility, and identification details make it easy to identify and isolate for industrial use.

Its preparation method is straightforward, and it can be produced from readily available materials. Potassium bromate plays an essential role in various chemical reactions, and its presence is valuable in many different industries.

Properties and Characteristics of Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is a salt with the chemical formula KBrO3. It is a white crystalline powder that has some unique properties and characteristics.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the physical, chemical, and atomic properties of potassium bromate.

Physical Properties

Potassium bromate is a white crystalline powder that has no odor. It is inorganic and has a density of 3.27 g/cm.

At room temperature, it is a solid material that is soluble in water and ethanol. Its melting point is 381C, and it undergoes thermal decomposition above its melting point.

The color of potassium bromate is white, and it is normally sold as a powder material. The boiling point of potassium bromate is 1,381C.

Chemical Properties

Potassium bromate has some unique chemical properties, which include its solubility in water and pH. It is highly soluble, with a solubility of 60 g/100 mL of water at room temperature.

The pH of a 1% solution of potassium bromate is about 7. The salt has no commercial use as an acid or base.

Another chemical property of potassium bromate is its oxidizing strength. It is a very powerful oxidant, which is responsible for its use in the baking industry.

When bread dough is mixed with potassium bromate, it is oxidized, and this leads to increased elasticity and rising of bread dough.

Atomic Properties

The crystal structure of potassium bromate is orthorhombic. The salt is made up of a potassium cation (K+) and a bromate anion (BrO3-).

The BrO3- anion adopts an octahedral shape, with the bromine atom being in the center of the octahedron. The potassium ion is situated outside of the octahedron.

Prominent Reactions

Potassium bromate is a very stable compound, but it can undergo thermal decomposition at high temperatures. When heated to temperatures above 730C, it decomposes to potassium bromide (KBr), oxygen (O2), and water (H2O).

The reaction can be written as follows:

KBrO3 KBr + 3/2 O2 + 1/2 H2O

Potassium bromate can also react with other chemicals. For example, it can react with sulfuric acid to produce bromine (Br2) and oxygen (O2).

KBrO3 + H2SO4 KHSO4 + Br2 + O2 + H2O

Uses of Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate has various uses in different industries. Some of these uses include:

As a Flour and Bread Improver in Baking: Potassium bromate is used as a dough improver in the baking industry.

When it is added to bread dough, potassium bromate oxidizes some of the gluten proteins, and this enhances the elasticity and rising of bread dough.

In Producing Malt Barley: Potassium bromate is used in the brewing industry to convert enzymes in malt barley and make them more soluble.

In Analytical Chemistry: Potassium bromate is used as a standard oxidizing agent in analytical chemistry. It is used to determine the amount of iron in a sample.

Use as a Brominating Agent: Potassium bromate is used as a brominating agent in organic chemistry. It can be used to convert certain compounds to brominated derivatives.

For example, benzene can be brominated using sulfuric acid and potassium bromate, as follows:

C6H6 + Br2 C6H5Br + HBr

Conclusion

Potassium bromate is a unique salt with important uses in various industries, especially in baking. Its physical and chemical properties make it a valuable compound in the production of bread and malt barley.

Potassium bromate is also used in analytical chemistry as a standard oxidizing agent and in organic chemistry as a brominating agent.

Dangers and Hazards of Potassium Bromate

Although potassium bromate has various uses in different industries, it has been linked to various health hazards. In this article, we will explore the dangerous and harmful effects of potassium bromate, countries that have banned its use as a food additive, precautions during inhalation or contact with skin and eyes, and its fire hazard.

Carcinogenic and Harmful Effects

Potassium bromate is considered a carcinogen due to its potential for causing genetic damage. It has been found to cause DNA damage in animal studies, leading to the development of tumors in rats, specifically follicular cell tumors in the thyroid gland.

Exposure to potassium bromate can also cause a medical condition called hyperuricemia, which is a high level of uric acid in the blood. This condition leads to gout, a painful form of arthritis.

Countries Banning its Use as a Food Additive

Due to the health hazards associated with potassium bromate, many countries have banned its use as a food additive. These countries include Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, Sri Lanka, and China.

The United States and European Union have not banned its usage, but they regulate the amount of potassium bromate that can be used in food products.

Precautions During Inhalation or Contact with Skin and Eyes

Potassium bromate can be harmful if inhaled or comes into contact with skin and eyes. Inhalation of potassium bromate dust can lead to respiratory irritation, coughing, and breathing difficulties.

If you work in an environment where potassium bromate is being used, it is essential to wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation.

If potassium bromate comes into contact with your skin or eyes, wash the affected area immediately with plenty of running water for at least 15 minutes.

In case of an emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

Fire Hazard

Potassium bromate is not a combustible material but can cause a fire if it comes into contact with other chemicals, including reducing agents and flammable materials. In case of a fire involving potassium bromate, use foam, CO2, or dry chemical powder to extinguish the flames.

Price of Potassium Bromate

The cost of potassium bromate varies depending on the supplier and the quantity required. One supplier sells 5 grams of potassium bromate for $29.7. The price increases as the quantity increases.

Conclusion

In conclusion, potassium bromate is a dangerous and harmful chemical compound with harmful effects linked to it. Many countries have banned its use as a food additive, and precautions should be taken when handling the chemical compound.

Inhalation and contact with skin and eyes should be avoided, and when the compound comes into contact with other chemicals, there is a potential fire hazard. Although potassium bromate is still used in different industries for its various properties, it is imperative to consider its harmful effects.

In summary, potassium bromate is a chemical compound with various uses in different industries. However, it is also a carcinogen, linked to DNA damage and the development of follicular cell tumors in rats, as well as hyperuricemia and gout.

Many countries have banned or regulated its use as a food additive due to these health hazards. Precautions should be taken during handling, and it should not be inhaled, come in contact with skin or eyes, or come into contact with other chemicals.

Potassium bromate is a dangerous and harmful chemical, and its dangers should be taken seriously in various industries.

FAQs

1. Is potassium bromate a carcinogen?

Yes, potassium bromate has been linked to causing genetic damage and the development of follicular cell tumors in the thyroid gland in animal studies. 2.

Can potassium bromate cause hyperuricemia?

Yes, potassium bromate can lead to hyperuricemia, a medical condition that leads to gout, a painful form of arthritis.

3. What countries have banned potassium bromate as a food additive?

Many countries, including Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, Sri Lanka, and China have banned or regulated the use of potassium bromate as a food additive. 4.

How can I prevent inhalation of potassium bromate?

When working in an environment where potassium bromate is being used, wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation.

5. What should I do if potassium bromate comes into contact with my skin or eyes?

Wash the affected area immediately with plenty of running water for at least 15 minutes. In case of an emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

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