Zinc sulfate is a very water soluble, transparent, colorless, crystalline compound. It is commonly used as the heptahydrate, ZnSO4 •7H2O, and is commonly called white vitriol; it occurs naturally as the mineral goslarite, and can be prepared by reacting zinc with sulfuric acid. It is used to supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilizers, and agricultural sprays; in making lithopone; in coagulation baths for rayon; in electrolyte for zinc plating; as a mordant in dyeing; as a preservative for skins and leather; and in medicine as an astringent and emitic.
Zinc sulfate is chiefly used in fertilizer applications and animal feed supplements. It is especially applied on crops such as pecan, deciduous fruits, peanuts, cotton, corn, and citrus, and added to feeds for swine and poultry. Zinc sulfate is the most common dry fertilizer and zinc chelates are the most common liquid material. Zinc sulfate's high solubility in aqueous systems makes it a favored substance for delivering zinc values in agriculture applications. Zinc is one of the essential elements for plant and animal life. In plants, it serves as a growth hormone and influences protein synthesis. Zinc deficiency causes stunting of the plant, yellowing of the leaves and decreased yields of seed, grain, vegetables or fruit. Soil application of zinc sulfate is the most common and most successful long-term strategy for eliminating zinc deficiencies. Zinc sulfate can be applied as a broadcast treatment and tilled into the soil or applied in a band near the seed. Band application is most effective when placed to the side and below the seed. Zinc chelates are generally used as a rescue treatment and do not result in any benefits to following crops. Common rates of foliar zinc are .25-1.0 lb/a elemental zinc. Multiple applications of foliar zinc are usually required to achieve the same affect as 10 lbs/a zinc applied to the soil before planting.
Zinc sulfate solution may be used in the production of zineb (zinc ethylene bisdithiocarbamate). Zineb, and agricultural fungicide, is commonly employed to protect crops such as apples, pears, cabbage, broccoli and ornamentals as well as citrus, stone-fruit, cotton and wheat.
The second major use for zinc sulfate is the manufacture of viscose rayon fiber. Zinc sulfate is one of the ingredients in the spinning bath along with sodium sulfate and sulfuric acid. A thin stream of viscose solution is injected into the spinning bath where it coagulates forming the fiber. The zinc sulfate promotes coagulation and crenullation of the fiber. Rayon of high strength is produced which is especially well suited for tires, rubber hoses, belting and other reinforcing applications.
Zinc sulfate is the ideal source of zinc for the production of zinc stearate. It is used as a catalyst in numerous chemical operations and in the production of butyl rubber. Zinc Sulfate Solution is used as the source of zinc in the manufacture of zinc dithiocarbamate rubber accelerators. In water treatment, zinc sulfate finds application as a corrosion inhibitor in cooling towers and secondary oil recovery. Zinc sulfate also finds use in production of pigments, preservation and clarification of glue, in flame-proofing compounds, as a mining flotation agent, wood preservative and in electrometallurgy and electrogalvanizing.
Chemical Formula: ZnSO4•H2O, ZnSO4 • 7H2O
Synonyms: Zinc Vitiol, Zinkosite, White Vitriol, Sulfuric Acid, Zinc Salt (1:1), Sulfuric Acid, Zinc Salt, Zinc Sulfate Heptahydrate, Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate