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Can hypochlorite ions oxidize bromide to bromine?

In acid solutions, yes. That's the old qual test for bromide. Shake a solution of the unknown with NaOCl, this oxidizes bromide to bromine, and the bromine colors the carbon tetrachloride layer (added previously) yellow. Of course I suppose CCl4 is not used anymore; probably something like hexane has been substituted for it. I never used NaOCl, however, because I never trusted NaOCl I found on the shelf so I made a Cl2 solution FRESH and I never had a problem with it. The prof saw me one day and asked what I was doing and I told him I could make fresh Cl2 in 30 seconds and be done with the test before I could even find NaOCl on the shelf and make sure it was good. He just grinned and let me go about my business.

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