Potassium Bromate - KBrO3

What is Potassium Bromate?

Potassium Bromate is a widely used form of bromine with the chemical formula KBrO3. It is a powerful oxidising agent which is reduced smoothly to bromide. It is the potassium salt of bromate and is readily available in a high state of purity. In substitution reaction it acts as an effective brominating agent.

Alternate names – Potassium bromate(V) Bromic acid, potassium salt

Table of Content

Structure of Potassium Bromate – KBrO3

Potassium Bromate 1

Compound information

KBrO3 Potassium Bromate
Density 3.27 g/cm³
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 167 g/mol
Boiling Point 370 °C
Melting point 350 °C
Chemical Formula KBrO3

Physical Properties of Potassium Bromate – KBrO3

Odour Odourless
Appearance White crystalline powder
Magnetic susceptibility −52.6·10−6 cm3/mol
Conjugate acid‎ Bromic acid
Solubility Slightly soluble in alcohol insoluble in acetone and ethanol

Chemical Properties of Potassium Bromate – KBrO3

    • Potassium bromate reacts with sodium bromate in the presence of dilute acid solution forming bromine. The corresponding chemical equation is given below.

BrO3 + 5Br + 6H+ → 3Br2 + 3H2O

Uses of Potassium Bromate – KBrO3

  • It is used as a source of bromine. Standard potassium bromate can be used directly to prepare a standard solution that is stable indefinitely.
  • It is used as an antiseptic and astringent in toothpaste, mouthwashes and gargles as 3 to 5 percent solution.
  • Potassium bromate is used primarily as a conditioner for flour and dough; some of its non-food uses include use as an oxidizing agent for analytic chemistry and as a brominating agent.

Health Hazard of potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is a moderately toxic compound. Ingestion causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory stimulation, a decrease in body temperature, methemoglobinemia and renal injury. In toothpaste, it has been reported to have caused inflammation and bleeding of the gums.

Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs


Why is potassium bromate bad for you?

Potassium bromate is carcinogenic in nature; it may cause kidney, thyroid, and gastrointestinal cancer in animals. Such substances may also have the potential for causing reproductive damage in humans.


What foods contain potassium bromate?

Potassium bromate is mainly found in foods containing flour. It can be found in bread, flour, pizza dough, buns etc. In 1999 the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that potassium bromate is a possible human carcinogen. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) allows potassium bromate in food as long as it doesn’t exceed 750 parts per million.


Does potassium bromate dissolve in water?

Potassium bromate (KBrO3) is an ionic compound. It dissolves in polar solvents like water. In water it undergoes ionisation to form K+ and BrO3 ions.


Is bromine bad for the thyroid?

Overexposure to bromine can cause hypothyroidism. Ingesting bromine in irregular amounts displaces iodine in your body. A deficiency of iodine can increase your chances of breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate cancers.


What happens when potassium bromate is heated?

When potassium bromate is heated, it undergoes a decomposition reaction. By decomposition, it emits very toxic fumes of bromate anion and K2O.

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