Zinc sulfate

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Zinc sulfate
Zinc Sulfate.jpg
Zinc sulfate.png
IUPAC name
Zinc sulfate
Other names
White vitriol
7733-02-0 YesY
7446-19-7 (monohydrate) N
13986-24-8 (hexahydrate) N
7446-20-0 (heptahydrate) N
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
ChEBI CHEBI:35176 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL1200929 N
ChemSpider 22833 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.904
EC Number 231-793-3
PubChem 24424
RTECS number ZH5260000
UN number 3077
Molar mass 161.47 g/mol (anhydrous)
179.47 g/mol (monohydrate)
287.53 g/mol (heptahydrate)
Appearance white powder
Odor odorless
Density 3.54 g/cm3 (anhydrous)
2.072 g/cm3 (hexahydrate)
Melting point 680 °C (1,256 °F; 953 K) decomposes (anhydrous)
100 °C (heptahydrate)
70 °C, decomposes (hexahydrate)
Boiling point 740 °C (1,360 °F; 1,010 K) (anhydrous)
280 °C, decomposes (heptahydrate)
57.7 g/100 mL, anhydrous (20 °C) (In aqueous solutions with a pH < 5)[1]
Solubility alcohols
−45.0·10−6 cm3/mol
1.658 (anhydrous), 1.4357 (heptahydrate)
120 J·mol−1·K−1[2]
−983 kJ·mol−1[2]
A12CB01 (WHO)
Safety data sheet ICSC 1698
Harmful (Xn)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R22, R41, R50/53
S-phrases (S2), S22, S26, S39, S46, S60, S61
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other cations
Cadmium sulfate
Manganese sulfate
Related compounds
Copper(II) sulfate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Zinc sulfate is an inorganic compound and dietary supplement. As a supplement it is used to treat zinc deficiency and to prevention the conditions in those at high risk.[3] Side effects may include abdominal pain, vomiting, headache, and feeling tired.[4]

It has the formula ZnSO4 as well as any of three hydrates. It was historically known as "white vitriol". All of the various forms are colourless solids. The heptahydrate is commonly encountered.[5]



In medicine it is used together with oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and an astringent.[5]


The hydrates, especially the heptahydrate, are the primary forms used commercially. The main application is as a coagulant in the production of rayon. It is also a precursor to the pigment lithopone.

It is used as in electrolytes for zinc plating, as a mordant in dyeing, as a preservative for skins and leather.


Zinc sulfate is used to supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilizers, and agricultural sprays. Zinc sulfate, like many zinc compounds, can be used to control moss growth on roofs.[6]


Zinc sulfate powder is an eye irritant. Ingestion of trace amounts is considered safe, and zinc sulfate is added to animal feed as a source of essential zinc, at rates of up to several hundred milligrams per kilogram of feed. Excess ingestion results in acute stomach distress, with nausea and vomiting appearing at 2-8 mg/Kg of body weight.[7]

Production and reactivity[edit]

Zinc sulfate is produced by treating virtually any zinc containing material (metal, minerals, oxides) with sulfuric acid.[5]

Specific reactions the reaction of the metal with aqueous sulfuric acid:

Zn + H2SO4 + 7 H2O → ZnSO4(H2O)7 + H2

Pharmaceutical grade zinc sulfate is produced by treating high purity zinc oxide with sulfuric acid:

ZnO + H2SO4 + 6 H2O → ZnSO4(H2O)7

In aqueous solution, all forms of zinc sulfate behave identically. These aqueous solutions consist of the metal aquo complex [Zn(H2O)6]2+ and SO42− ions. Barium sulfate forms when these solutions are treated with solutions of barium ions:

ZnSO4 + BaCl2 → BaSO4 + ZnCl2

With a reduction potential of -0.76, zinc(II) reduces only with difficulty.

When heated over 680 C, zinc sulfate decomposes into sulfur dioxide gas and zinc oxide fume, both of which are hazardous.[8]


As a mineral ZnSO4·7H2O is known as goslarite. Zinc sulfate occurs as several other minor minerals Zinc-melanterite (Zn,Cu,Fe)SO4·7H2O (structurally different from goslarite). Lower hydrates of zinc sulfate are rarely found in nature: (Zn,Fe)SO4·6H2O (bianchite ), (Zn,Mg)SO4·4H2O (boyleite), and (Zn,Mn)SO4·H2O (gunningite).


  1. ^ Lide, David R., ed. (2006). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-0487-3. 
  2. ^ a b Zumdahl, Steven S. (2009). Chemical Principles 6th Ed. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. A23. ISBN 0-618-94690-X. 
  3. ^ British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 700. ISBN 9780857111562. 
  4. ^ WHO Model Formulary 2008 (PDF). World Health Organization. 2009. p. 351. ISBN 9789241547659. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Dieter M. M. Rohe, Hans Uwe Wolf "Zinc Compounds" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a28 537
  6. ^ "Moss on Roofs," Community Horticultural Fact Sheet #97, Washington State University King County Extension, [1][permanent dead link]
  7. ^ European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), "Scientific Opinion on safety and efficacy of zinc compounds (E6) as feed additives for all animal species: Zinc sulphate monohydrate", Feb 2012 [2]
  8. ^ "Zinc Sulphate Zinc Sulfate MSDS Sheet of Manufacturers". Mubychem.com. 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-06-08.