Does cinnabar react with bromine and iodine to form elemental sulphur? This reaction was described in "Explorations in the history of science and technology in China" but I have doubts...enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ "…reports$^{22,23}$" — you sure have checked these reports, haven't you? Also, what is "Explorations in the history of science and technology in China", an article, a book, a report or a blogpost? How are we supposed to check these references? $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Mar 2 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ 1. I did not verify the possibility of the above mentioned reaction experimentally. 2. Explorations in the History of Science and Technology in China . A Special Number of the " Collections of Essays on Chinese Literature and History . ” Shanghai : Chinese Classics Publications House, 1982. $\endgroup$
    – Andrey
    Mar 2 at 13:23

I did a cursory search and found some information particularly from books of late 19th century(1,2):

Cinnabar and iodine

On heating, it (cinnabar) is readily decomposed with formation of small scarlet crystals of mercuric iodide.

Cinnabar and bromine

[...] After digesting the cinnabar with excess of bromine liquid (or bromine water containing 3% of bromine or solution of hydrochloric acid containing 13% of bromine) for a few days, the whole is dissolved, and also any metallic mercury present [...] The amount of bromine required is very considerable, 1 part of mercury is obtained and 3.5 parts of hydrobromic acid remains in the solution.


  1. Chemical News and Journal of Industrial Science, Volumes 37-38, Chemical news office., 1878
  2. Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines by Robert Hunt, Andrew Ure, 1878

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