Reactions of Sulfur and Bromine

Belinda had a question about preparing sulfur-containing compounds. Because sulfur and bromine are both non-metal, she wondered how they would react. She also wanted to know the equation for the reaction.

Dear Belinda,

The thermodynamic parameter which is of significance in this case is the 'Reduction Potential' for molecular bromine which is ~ +1.1 v vs N.H.E. In other words, it is a strong oxidizing agent. The bromine will oxidize sulfur compounds in which the valence of sulfur is lower than six to sulfate.

There are many possible reactions. Here is one possible example:

Na2 S2O3 + 4Br2 + 5 H2O = 2NaHSO4 + 8 HBr

I hope this helps. Please contact me if you have any other questions.

Serving you in chemistry,

Paul R. Gaines, Ph.D.
CEO of Inorganic Ventures & Fellow Chemist

DISCLAIMER: Advice offered by the chemists at Inorganic Ventures is intended for the individual posing the question. Feel free to contact us to verify whether these suggestions apply to your unique circumstances.