# Will a Lewis acid catalyze the reaction of HBr with primary alcohols?

It is well-established that a Lewis acid catalyst (popularly $$\ce{ZnCl2})$$ is necessary to form an alkyl chloride when reacting $$\ce{HCl}$$ with a primary alcohol. This actually changes the mechanism: the Lewis acid complexes with the alcohol and the resulting leaving group is $$\ce{[Zn(OH)Cl2]-}$$ instead of water. For $$\ce{HBr}$$ and $$\ce{HI}$$ this is technically not necessary.

However, practically speaking $$\ce{HBr}$$ alone is also insufficient as its azeotrope is insufficiently concentrated. Generally one adds conc. sulfuric acid to increase the acidity.

I am curious as to whether the addition of a Lewis acid could be used instead. Bromide is a stronger nucleophile (in protic solvents) than chloride, so I expect that it would. Has anyone ever tried this?