Free-radical substitution does not occur in aqueous solution as free radicals react with water (from school textbook). What does the reaction between free radicals, say Br, and water produce?

  • $\begingroup$ You might be referring to electrophilic addition like in the video - I am referring to radical substitution. In your first link there is such a reaction but with Cl radicals instead. Was wondering what happens when these radicals react with water. $\endgroup$
    – Kenneth
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ You're right. I deleted my unhelpful comments. $\endgroup$
    – DHMO
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ My best guess would be HBr. Br2 + Water disproportions to HBr and hypobromite. That reaction is sped up by light, so it's probably a radical reaction. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ see this:-chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/42696/… $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


Bromine radical reacts with water

$$\ce{Br* + H2O -> HBr + *OH}$$

OH radical reacts with bromine

$$\ce{*OH + Br2 -> BrOH + Br*}$$

to give a new bromine radical, and so on, until the bromine is totally consumed.


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