Montpellier, France/montpellier055

Previous | Home | Next

Balard originally wanted to call the red liquid "rutile" from its red color. This would have caused confusion with the mineral rutile TiO2, which had been named in 1803, and Joseph Anglada (1775-1833), Balard's mentor at Montpellier, preferred "muride" ("the sea"). Later Gay-Lussac in Paris called it "le brôme" meaning stench. By reacting bromine with caustic potash, Balard produced potassium bromide crystals. Before long, potassium bromide was being utilized as a medicine for epilepsy — hence, the source of the term “bromide” as a general sedative.