Zinc Sulphate Overview

Zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) is a colorless crystalline, water-soluble chemical compound. The hydrated form, ZnSO4·7H2O, the mineral goslarite, was historically known as “white vitriol” and can be prepared by reacting zinc with aqueous sulfuric acid. It may also be prepared by adding solid zinc to a Copper II Sulfate solution. (Zn+CuSO4→ZnSO4+Cu) It is used to supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilizers, and agricultural sprays. ZnSO4·7H2O is used in making lithopone, in coagulation baths for rayon, in electrolytes for zinc plating, as a mordant in dyeing, as a preservative for skins and leather and in medicine as an astringent and emetic.

An aqueous solution of zinc sulfate is claimed to be effective at removing moss from roofs. Spraying a mixture on moss will allow the wind to simply blow off the remaining debris, however it is not recommended for use on lawns as it is as effective at removing grass as it is moss. Zinc sulfate also has reported uses of deceiving medical drug examinations.


Zinc Sulfate (also spelled zinc sulphate) is a very water soluble, clear, crystalline compound prepared by heating zinc sulphide ore in air and dissolving out and recrystallizing the sulphate. It is commonly used as the heptahydrate form; it occurs naturally as the mineral goslarite, and can be prepared by reacting zinc with sulfuric acid. The crystalline sulfate is known commonly as white vitriol. It loses water at 30°C to give the hexahydrate and more water is lost at 70°C to form the monohydrate.
The anhydrous salt forms at 280°C and this decomposes above 500°C. It is used in agriculture as a weed killer and to give protection against pests; It is used to supply zinc in animal feeds and fertilizers; It is also an important constituent of the precipitating bath in the manufacture of viscose rayon and in electrolyte for zinc plating; It functions as a mordant in dyeing; as a preservative for skins and leather; and as an astringent and emitic in medicine.

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