Bromine – FAQ

BromMax® is a stabilized liquid bromine biocide that contains 23% available Br2 (10.2% expressed as Cl2). BromMax is registered with the EPA to control bacteria, fungi, algae and slime in industrial and commercial cooling water systems; air washers and scrubbers; decorative fountains; industrial pasteurizers; heat transfer systems and in pulp and paper mills.

General Product Information

How is BromMax different from Nalco's Sta-br-ex and Albemarle's Stabrom 909?

The main difference is in the activity. BromMax was developed to contain 68% more active bromine than Sta-br-ex, and 48% more active bromine than Stabrom 909. BromMax also has superior storage stability than either product. For a more detailed comparison, visit our Comparison with Competitive Technologies page.

How did Enviro Tech manage to develop this product ahead of its far larger competitors?

Enviro Tech has been developing innovative bromine water treatment technologies since the company was founded in 1991. Collectively, our technical team has over 35 years of experience in bromine chemistry for water treatment and holds 15 U.S. patents. In 2002, recognizing the deficiencies of Sta-br-ex and Stabrom 909, we deliberately embarked on a campaign to develop a product with a higher level of active ingredient. BromMax is the result of this endeavor.

How has Enviro Tech overcome the considerable number of patents surrounding Sta-br-ex and Stabrom 909 technologies?

Enviro Tech’s technology infringes on none of those patents because of the innovative process used to make it. In fact, it is impossible to make BromMax using the processes employed to produce Sta-br-ex or Stabrom 909. Enviro Tech has applied for its own patents worldwide in order to protect its inventions. For a more detailed discussion of intellectual property issues, visit our Patents, Intellectual Property, and Registrations page.

But Nalco claims to have patented the exclusive use of ALL stabilized bromine products in a variety of end-use applications, such as cooling water. How am I able to use BromMax without infringing on Nalco's patents?

You have been given misleading information. Nalco’s patents mostly cover the process for a way to make their stabilized product. Within these patents are claims to the use of solutions in industrial water systems (cooling, gas scrubber, air washer). However, none of these end-use application claims are independent, and stand-alone for all stabilized bromine products. They are all dependent upon earlier claims that ultimately wind up at the “product-by-process” claim. This means that Nalco only covered these end-uses for a product made by their process. Products not made by Nalco’s process, as is the case for BromMax, are unencumbered by Nalco’s end-use application claims.

But I have looked at your label and it is identical to Nalco's Sta-br-ex label except for the dosage information that is adjusted to account for the higher activity of BromMax. Surely this means you must be infringing on Nalco's patents?

No, the BromMax label was deliberately written to look like the Nalco label to speed the regulatory path forward. According to FIFRA section 3[c](3)(b)(i), the EPA grants an expedited review if a product is similar or identical in composition and labeling to a product that is already registered with the EPA. In an attempt to qualify for such a review, Enviro Tech wrote the BromMax label to appear as identical as possible to the Sta-br-ex label. This is known as “substantially similar to” labeling.

So, Enviro Tech pays no royalties or licensing rights to Nalco or Albemarle?

Absolutely none. Enviro Tech is an independent company unencumbered by royalty payments, marketing agreements and manufacturing arrangements.

What are the advantages of BromMax over less concentrated rival products?

Reduced shipping costs per pound of active ingredient; fewer containers to store and dispose of; longer time between swapping out the empty containers.

What can I expect upon switching from Sta-br-ex or Stabrom 909 to BromMax?

Lower overall costs because of all the advantages outlined above, and none of your dollars are used to pay royalties to your competitor. When dosed to the same bromine residual, the solution chemistry of BromMax is identical to the competitive products. Thus, BromMax displays the same low reactivity to scale and corrosion inhibitors, low flashoff potential, biofilm removal properties, dosing consistency and microbiological efficacy as other stabilized liquid bromine technologies.

Where is BromMax shipped from?

Enviro Tech has manufacturing facilities on the west coast, the east coast and the mid-west.

Why are the storage containers vented?

BromMax degrades very slowly to release nitrogen gas. This would build up in the headspace and pressurize the container if it was not safely vented to the atmosphere.

What materials are incompatible and compatible with neat BromMax?

Compatible materials include: high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene, PVC, CPVC, PTFE (Teflon), Viton, Tygon tubing, chlorobutyl rubber, hypalon, titanium, Hastelloy C-276 and Monel. Incompatible materials include: carbon steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, brass, aluminium, Buna-N-rubber, neoprene, silicone gasketing, polyvinylidene fluoride (Kynar), nylon and Plasite 4300.

What type of chemicals are incompatible with BromMax?

Strong reducing agents such as sulfite and metabisulfite, strong acids and bases. Never mix BromMax products with sodium hypochlorite bleach. This mixture will result in a violent exothermic reaction that produces a great deal of heat and nitrogen gas bubbles.

What containers should be used to store BromMax?

Storage in the original high density polyethylene containers is recommended. When transfers are necessary, the transfer containers should be made of the same material.

What are the storage requirements for BromMax?

Store below 30°C/86°F in a dry, well-ventilated area. Avoid freezing conditions, extreme heat and direct sunlight. Keep the containers closed during storage and when not in use.

What is the shelf life of BromMax?

BromMax has a shelf life of at least one year from the date of manufacture when stored in its original container under normal conditions. As with all stabilized bromine products, some degradation will occur with time, but you will find BromMax to have far superior stability than competitive stabilized bromine products.

When BromMax 7.1 was registered with the EPA, it underwent a one year storage stability study under non-climate controlled conditions [such as a warehouse]. If after one year the product falls more than 5% below the nominal active ingredient concentration [6.745% expressed as Cl2 for BromMax 7.1], it would have required there to be a statement on the label to the effect of “This product degrades with time. Test product regularly and adjust dosing as necessary.” BromMax 7.1 does not carry this statement because it has passed the one year storage stability test with the activity well within specification, when stored as recommended on the label in warehouse conditions.

Even after one year, the product is still quite usable because the level of active ingredient in BromMax 7.1 degrades very slowly with time.

What kind of personal protective equipment do I need to wear when handling BromMax?

Wear chemically resistant gloves when handling BromMax. The most common accidents are with the eyes, so wear goggles, safety glasses or face shield to protect from accidental splashing.

What kind of food industry approvals has BromMax received?

BromMax is not approved for direct food contact. However, it may be used in pulp and paper mills where the manufactured paper or paperboard may be used for food contact purposes.

Is BromMax registered in California?


Application Information

How is BromMax fed to the water system?

Any diaphragm pump previously used for sodium hypochlorite bleach or other stabilized bromine products is suitable for use with BromMax. Remember to adjust the rate of addition downward to account for the higher activity. Diaphragm pumps with de-gassing heads prevent the pumps from vapor locking and tend to be more reliable. It is recommended that BromMax is always pumped from the top of the container using a dip tube or foot valve. If using totes, never draw product from the drain valve, as this could lead to unwanted siphoning or excessive product loss if leakage occurs. BromMax can also be conveniently metered using injectors or eductors made of compatible materials of construction such as polypropylene, provided a suitable motive source of water is available. For small water systems, BromMax is easy to apply manually using a plastic measuring jug. Remember to rinse the jug of BromMax residues after use.

Where should BromMax be introduced to the water system?

BromMax may be fed to either the system water or the make-up water at an area of good mixing to promote rapid dispersion. It may be introduced continuously or intermittently depending upon the needs of the end user.

How do I measure the amount of BromMax in the water?

The active bromine in BromMax responds to DPD-colorimetric analysis. The free halogen residual with BromMax typically runs at about one-half the total halogen residual. If using a DPD total chlorine test kit that provides the result in ppm Cl2, multiply the number by 2.25 to obtain the active bromine concentration.

Can ORP analyzers be used to monitor and control the BromMax dose?

Theoretically, yes. An ORP increase of 30 mV corresponds to a 10-fold increase in the bromine concentration. However, this is rarely the case in practice, and so when using ORP it is recommended that the bromine residual is periodically checked using one of the test kit methods to establish the ORP correlation. In addition, BromMax’s stabilization technology acts to diminish its ORP response leading to lower mV readings than those observed for unstabilized oxidizing biocides such as sodium hypochlorite bleach or bleach activated sodium bromide.

How does the compatibility of BromMax to cooling water scale and corrosion inhibitors compare with that of bleach and activated sodium bromide programs?

Expect the same reactivity as with Sta-br-ex or Stabrom 909 water treatment programs.

How effective is BromMax against bacteria, algae, slime and fungi?

When dosed to the same bromine residual, BromMax is just as effective as Sta-br-ex and Stabrom 909 against all microorganisms. For more detailed efficacy studies and comparisons with other halogen technologies, visit our Technical Information page.

Can I use an approved non-oxidizing biocide in conjunction with BromMax?

Enviro Tech does not advocate this practice, but success has been reported by other water treatment specialists with using competitive stabilized bromine products in conjunction with non-oxidizing biocides. A common practice is to discontinue the stabilized bromine feed each week and apply a label-recommended dose of non-oxidizing biocide. Then, wait until the non-oxidizer has had time to perform and dissipate from the water system before resuming the stabilized bromine feed.

What is meant by overstabilization?

Overstabilization is an uncommon phenomenon that manifests as reduced efficacy (higher plate counts, algae development) despite maintaining target residual levels of bromine. It is most prevalent on high cycle (>4) towers that are dosed continuously. It occurs because the accumulation the sulfamic acid stabilizer causes the hypobromous acid to be less-readily released to the cooling water. This tighter-bound hypobromous acid is less effective to microorganisms. Unfortunately, there is no test kit for sulfamic acid to ascertain whether the level is unacceptably high nor is there any chemical means of its destruction. The only way to rectify overstabilized water is to bleed down and replenish with fresh water.

What if I'm experiencing crystallization in my feed lines or injectors?

Problem: Plugging of lines and injectors.

Reasons/causes: (1).In hard, highly-cycled cooling water, the high localized pH of the BromMax product can cause calcium carbonate to precipitate and clog injector tip. A calcium carbonate scale can be identified by adding a few drop of 5% mineral acid or glacial acetic acid onto the deposit. Effervescence (fizzing) of carbon dioxide gas confirms the identity of the deposit.

(2).Stabilized bromine being fed in a recirculating water sidestream/manifold in which scale/corrosion inhibitors or biodispersants are also introduced. Oxidizing biocides such as BromMax are very reactive to other chemistries fed in close proximity. At the high concentrations in this sidestream/manifold the undesirable reaction chemistries occur at high rate. The reaction products are insoluble brominated solids that can plug injectors.

Solutions: (1).If practical, increase the flow of water through the sidestream/manifold. The higher water flow will suppress the development of a high localized pH condition that causes precipitation of calcium carbonate.
(2).Where possible, feed the BromMax at an area remote from the sidestream where other chemistries are introduced e.g. directly into tower basin or at another point on the pressure side of the pump, or into the makeup water. Alternatively, when the BromMax product is feeding, set the timer on the other chemical feeders to off. Once the BromMax feed is completed, re-start the feed of the other chemistries.