Is HBr Polar or Nonpolar?

Answer: HBr is a polar molecule due to the large electronegativity difference between hydrogen (2.20) and bromine (2.96) causing a partial negative charge on the latter and a partial positive charge on the former.

Like most hydrogen halides the intermolecular forces are relatively less than when compared to H2O or HF due to the existence of only one hydrogen bond on a dipole moment of less strength. This means that bromide has a relatively low melting point of -87°C and boiling point of -67°C. This means that HBr on its own is a gas at standard temperature and pressure. However the molecule is most often found as an aqueous solution in water. In free form it is highly corrosive and irritating, simply being predisposed to reacting with other polar molecules. HBr will only start to evaporate from aqueous solutions when the solution is 48% hydrogen bromide by mass and the temperature is over 125°C.

HBr Ball and Stick Diagram
HBr Ball and Stick Diagram. Created with MolView.
How is HBr utilized in the real world?

Hydrogen bromide is typically added to water first in order to create an aqueous solution. Then a wide variety of compounds involving bromine can be produced from this setup. There are other potential reactions that are not utilized industrially due to their inefficiency. However it has been suggested that HBr solution be utilized in the setup of a specific kind of battery.

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