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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Klingman, Charles L.
Bromine,   pp. 223-226 PDF (317.6 KB)


Page 223

  223Bromine 
By Charles L. Klingman1 
 The bromine industry displayed surprising vitality in 1972. In spite of
efforts to reduce atmospheric pollution from automobile exhausts, the predicted
reduction in use of tetraethyl lead as an antiknock and ethylene dibromide
as a lead scavenger in gasoline did not occur. There was, in fact, an increase
of more than 13% in ethylene dibroniide production in the United States,
compared with that of 1971. 
The increase was caused, to some extent, by increased exports of antiknock
compounds, which include ethylene dibromide particularly to the United Kingdom
and Brazil.2 In 1972 total bromine production increased by 30,918,000 pounds
over 1971 production. It is probable, however, that the large 1972 gain will
not be maintained in 1973 and subsequent years. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 The State of Arkansas continued to gain in bromine production, with 1972
output about 17% above that of 1971. Michigan had a 6.6% reduction in output.
The high bromine concentration and large reserves of Arkansas underground
brine makes this State a logical location for future expansion. The brine
wells of Michigan, by comparison, were not as free-flowing and had lower
bromine content. Therefore, more wells had to be drilled and more brine had
to be handled in Michigan per pound of bromine produced. 
 About 10% of the total bromine pro~ duced was sold in the elemental state
to nonmanufacturers of bromine compounds. The fraction of the bromine production
not used in the manufacture of compounds had remained relatively constant
over the years. 
 The rate of bromine production in 1972 was 9% higher than that of 1971.
The historic growth rate for the Industry was about 7% per annum. 
 Table 1 presents data only on elemental bromine. The bromine classified
as "used" in table 1 is the same bromine that appears in table 2 as the "bromine
content" of manufactured compounds, except for processing losses and variations
in stocks on hand. Table 2 deals exclusively with bromine compounds manufactured
for the end use market. 
 In 1972 there were 10 bromine producing plants in three States operated
by 
 1 Physical scientist, Division of Nonmetallic Minerals. 
 2 Chemical Engineering News. Surprise Comeback for Antiknock Compounds.
V. 50, No. 47, Nov. 20, 1972, p. 6. 
Table 1.—Elemental bromine sold as such or used in the preparation
of bromine 
compounds by primary producers in the United States 
(Thousand pounds and thousand dollars) 
1971 
1972 
Quantity 
Value 
Quantity 
Value 
Sold                                        
Used                                        
33,295 
322,651 
6,074 
55,676 
37,402 
349,462 
6,343 
57,346 
Total                                  
355,946 
61,750 
386,864 
63,689 


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