Phosphoryl bromide

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Phosphoryl bromide
IUPAC name
Phosphoryl bromide
Other names
Phosphoric tribromide
Phosphorus(V) oxybromide
Molar mass 286.69 g/mol
Appearance Colorless clear solid
Odor Acrid
Density 2.82 g/cm3
Melting point 56 °C (133 °F; 329 K)
Boiling point 192 °C (378 °F; 465 K)
Solubility Reacts with alcohols, carboxylic acids
Soluble in benzene, bromine, chloroform, carbon disulfide, diethyl ether, liq. HBr, liq. HCl, conc. sulfuric acid, THF
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Related compounds
Phosphorus tribromide
Phosphorus pentabromide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Phosphoryl bromide is an inorganic compound, a colorless or faint orange-ish solid, which fumes in moist air. It's a phosphorus halide that has the formula POBr3.



POBr3 hydrolyzes in water and moist air to form hydrobromic acid and phosphoric acid.


Phosphoryl bromide is a colorless to faint yellow-orange solid, which readily fumes in air. It is soluble in diethyl ether, benzene, chloroform, carbon disulfide, concentrated sulfuric acid.


Phosphoryl bromide is sold by various suppliers, but due to its hazards it's almost impossible to obtain. It's best to make it yourself.


Can be prepared by adding bromine to phosphorus tribromide at 0 °C, followed by careful addition of water and vacuum distillation of the resulting slurry.

Another route is the reaction of phosphorus pentabromide with phosphorus pentoxide:

3 PBr5 + P2O5 → 5 POBr3


  • Make phosphate esters



POBr3 reacts with the moisture from air to release HBr fumes which are very corrosive and toxic. Wear proper protection when handling the compound.


Should be kept in closed air-tight containers, in a glovebox or desiccator. Schlenk flasks are good storage containers.


Phosphoryl bromide should be neutralized with a base, such as calcium hydroxide suspension outside or in a well ventilated area. Since the neutralization produces plenty of HBr fumes, this should be performed in a fumehood or outside. Sodium thiosulfate can also be used as neutralizing agent, as it neutralizes HBr and Br2 more effectively.


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