Zinc carbonate is a white crystalline powder also known as smithsonite or calamine or zinc spar. It was named after the scientist (english) James Smithson. It is an ore of zinc, the zinc Carbonate formula is ZnCO3. Earlier smithsonite was confused with hemimorphite before it was realized that both of them were two different minerals. Both the minerals have similar appearance and the term calamine is used for both of them, which led to this confusion. It is a white and odorless crystalline solid, sub-micron, or nano-powder and is insoluble in water, alcohol, or acetone but is only slightly soluble in ammonia. It is soluble in alkalis and acids. Zinc carbonate is an important source of zinc because it can be easily converted to other zinc compounds such as zinc oxide. The process can be achieved by heating which results in the formation of zinc oxide and carbon dioxide. This process is also known as calcination.
Let's discuss more about Zinc Carbonate Structure, Its physical and chemical properties.
Zinc Carbonate Structure
Given below is the structure of Zinc carbonate:
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Physical Properties of Zinc Carbonate
The molecular weight of Zinc carbonate is 125.38 g/mol.
The Boiling Point of Zinc carbonate is 333.6 °C.
The Melting Point of Zinc carbonate is 1970 °C.
The Density of Zinc carbonate is 3.5 g/cm3.
It is a white powder and has a faint vinegar odor.
It is basic in nature so the pH level is above 10.
It is insoluble in water.
Chemical Properties of Zinc Carbonate
Zinc carbonate reacts with acids to form zinc chloride and releases carbon dioxide gas.
ZnCO3 + HCl → ZnCl2 + CO2
ZnCO3 + H2SO4 → ZnSO4 + CO2 + H2O
Zinc carbonate while going for decomposition reaction forms zinc oxide and releases carbon dioxide gas.
ZnCO3 → ZnO + CO2
Hydrothermal synthesis of zinc carbonate is a result of the reaction between ZnCl2 and K2CO3.
ZnCl2 (aq) + K2CO3 (aq) → ZnCO3 (s) + 2KCl (aq)
Uses of Zinc Carbonate
It is an inorganic salt and is commonly used as a catalyst in organic synthesis reactions.
It is an appropriate precursor for the fabrication of zinc oxide particles.
It is extensively used in rubber production as a raw material. It is added to improve the translucency or transparency of the natural rubber material as these two materials have a very comparative refractive index.
Due to its fungicide and antiseptic properties. It is used in a wide range of products such as bath, make-up, personal cleanliness, shaving, oral care, and skin & hair care products.
It is also used in animal feed additives. Lack of zinc carbonate can restrict the animal’s growth because it has an important contribution for the development of bone.
zinc carbonate is also used in the petroleum industry as a Sulphur absorber.
It is used in dusting upon inflamed surfaces as an astringent and absorbent.
Due to its antiseptic properties it is frequently used in pharmaceuticals.
Zinc carbonate is an ore of zinc and is an essential material in many applications. Demand for zinc carbonate is increasing because its application areas such as cosmetics, agriculture, or rubber production are growing at a rapid rate. Depending on its application, production scale, or structure there are different synthesis routes uses of zinc carbonate. Zinc nano-powder can be extensively used in areas like rubber production, respiratory systems, or cosmetics. The size of the powder greatly affects the performance of the material. Lastly, the use of zinc carbonate seems to increase in the future due to the growing cosmetic, rubber, and agriculture industries.