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bromic acid[′brō·mik ′as·əd]
(HBrO3), an inorganic acid. It is not obtained in a free state, but exists in aqueous solutions with a maximum concentration of 50.6 percent. Solutions of bromic acid decompose in air upon standing and particularly upon heating. Bromic acid is obtained by the decomposition of its barium salt by sulfuric acid or by the passage of chlorine through bromine water:
5Cl2 + Br2 + 6H2O = 2HBrO3 + 10HCl
Bromic acid salts (bromates) are stable under ordinary conditions, but upon heating they decompose, with the liberation of oxygen:
2KBrO3 = 2KBr + 3O2
Bromates are obtained by electrochemical oxidation of the corresponding bromides. In acidic solutions, bromic acid and its salts exhibit strong oxidizing properties, reducing to the Br− ion or to free bromine; they are used as oxidizing agents.