Have you considered a world without … Bromine?

Have you considered a world without … Bromine?

By Jalesh Kalra

It may just be the most important element you’ve never heard of. What is it you ask?  It’s bromine.

It may not be one of the luminaries of the periodic table, but it is one of the 28 essential elements for life, and a critical component in keeping families, homes, and communities safe.

Here’s an example of how: Bromine, naturally occurring in oceans, is a spectacular fire prevention additive. It’s used in various compounds across a wide range of industries and products helping prevent every day products from igniting or helping slow the spread of fires.

It’s in countless products that are enhancing modern life and making the world better including 5G infrastructure (i.e., circuit boards, wiring, and electronic connectors), the internet of things, home electronics, appliances, computers, smartphones, automobiles, building insulation and more.

And, you might be surprised to learn that the benefits and uses of bromine do not stop with fire prevention. It also contributes to boosting fuel-efficiency in rubber tires, ensuring safer meat processing by reducing food-borne illnesses, and reducing toxic plant emissions like mercury to the environment. Bromine is also used in biocides for water treatment, it provides a key molecule for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals, and is a catalyst for the production of polyester in the clothes we wear.

All of these products wouldn’t be the same, without bromine. For instance, when electronics develop short circuits and heat up, bromine can be the difference between a hot laptop and a fire igniting in your home. By incorporating bromine-based fire retardants, you have a critical, life-saving line of defense that decreases fire risk, and in many cases, allows more time to escape in the event of a life-threatening fire.

And as stewards of the planet, we are committed to meeting the needs of our customers as we provide high quality products in a safe and environmentally responsible manner while maintaining regulatory compliance.

This is why we have built a business around sourcing and processing bromine. Albemarle is one of the world’s foremost suppliers of the element in nearly 20 lines of compounds that are integral to products sold under various brand names. As a leading global bromine supplier, we have the largest global footprint, most secure supply, a robust supply chain, an innovative R&T team, and an exceptional customer experience.

Bromine is essential.  Without Bromine, the world as we know it would not be as safe, comfortable, and efficient as it is today.

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Jalesh Kalra is Chief Commercial Officer at Albemarle Corp.