Chemical elements
    Physical Properties
    Chemical Properties
    PDB 12ca-1ai0
    PDB 1aiy-1b6z
    PDB 1b71-1bs8
    PDB 1bsk-1cao
    PDB 1caq-1ctt
    PDB 1ctu-1de6
    PDB 1def-1dy0
    PDB 1dy1-1ed6
    PDB 1ed8-1exk
    PDB 1eyf-1fj9
    PDB 1fjg-1g0e
    PDB 1g0f-1gkq
    PDB 1gkr-1ha5
    PDB 1hbm-1hso
    PDB 1hsz-1i6v
    PDB 1i73-1im5
    PDB 1iml-1jcv
    PDB 1jcz-1jy8
    PDB 1jyb-1kh4
    PDB 1kh5-1kys
    PDB 1kzo-1llm
    PDB 1llu-1m7j
    PDB 1m9j-1mwo
    PDB 1mwq-1ndv
    PDB 1ndw-1nyq
    PDB 1nyr-1os4
    PDB 1os9-1p9w
    PDB 1paa-1pud
    PDB 1pv8-1q9l
    PDB 1q9m-1qv6
    PDB 1qv7-1r6o
    PDB 1r79-1ro9
    PDB 1ror-1sfo
    PDB 1sg0-1t3k
    PDB 1t4k-1tkh
    PDB 1tkj-1u0l
    PDB 1u10-1ums
    PDB 1umt-1v67
    PDB 1v6g-1vrq
    PDB 1vs0-1wew
    PDB 1wfe-1wwf
    PDB 1wwg-1xb1
    PDB 1xb8-1xpz
    PDB 1xq0-1y5w
    PDB 1y5x-1ylk
    PDB 1ylo-1z8r
    PDB 1z93-1zkx
    PDB 1zl6-258l
    PDB 2a03-2afo
    PDB 2afs-2atq
    PDB 2au3-2bfz
    PDB 2bg2-2c3a
    PDB 2c4r-2cij
    PDB 2cim-2czr
    PDB 2d0w-2djw
    PDB 2dkc-2e1b
    PDB 2e1s-2eer
    PDB 2eex-2em4
    PDB 2em5-2eoj
    PDB 2eok-2erq
    PDB 2esf-2fa7
    PDB 2fac-2fpx
    PDB 2fqp-2g84
    PDB 2g87-2gvf
    PDB 2gvi-2han
    PDB 2hap-2huc
    PDB 2hue-2imc
    PDB 2imr-2j65
    PDB 2j6a-2jq5
    PDB 2jr7-2kfn
    PDB 2kft-2l75
    PDB 2lgv-2nx9
    PDB 2nxa-2oc8
    PDB 2occ-2osm
    PDB 2oso-2p53
    PDB 2p57-2pow
    PDB 2ppb-2q8j
    PDB 2qa1-2qp6
    PDB 2qpj-2r71
    PDB 2r74-2sod
    PDB 2srt-2v86
    PDB 2v87-2vp7
    PDB 2vpb-2vyo
    PDB 2vz5-2wey
    PDB 2wfq-2wx0
    PDB 2wx1-2xam
    PDB 2xan-2xr9
    PDB 2xrg-2ytd
    PDB 2yte-2z30
    PDB 2z3g-2zet
    PDB 2zh0-3a32
    PDB 3a36-3aoi
    PDB 3at1-3bk1
    PDB 3bk2-3byr
    PDB 3byw-3cia
    PDB 3ciz-3d08
    PDB 3d09-3dbu
    PDB 3dc3-3dp6
    PDB 3dpe-3e1w
    PDB 3e1z-3ebh
    PDB 3ebi-3epk
    PDB 3epl-3f28
    PDB 3f2b-3fhe
    PDB 3fhp-3ful
    PDB 3fum-3g9y
    PDB 3ga3-3gpu
    PDB 3gpx-3h2w
    PDB 3h3e-3hfy
    PDB 3hgz-3hsn
    PDB 3hso-3i8v
    PDB 3i9b-3ij6
    PDB 3ijf-3ixe
    PDB 3iz0-3k34
    PDB 3k35-3kiy
    PDB 3kj1-3kvt
    PDB 3kwa-3lat
    PDB 3lcn-3lrr
    PDB 3ls1-3m1n
    PDB 3m1v-3mek
    PDB 3men-3mru
    PDB 3ms0-3n63
    PDB 3n64-3nin
    PDB 3nis-3ny2
    PDB 3ny3-3ohc
    PDB 3ohd-3oyl
    PDB 3oym-3pih
    PDB 3pki-3r0d
    PDB 3rj7-3t74
    PDB 3t87-3u9g
    PDB 3ua7-3v24
    PDB 3v25-4agl
    PDB 4agm-4dih
    PDB 4dii-4efs
    PDB 4eg2-4fc8
    PDB 4fgm-6tli
    PDB 6tmn-9nse

Element Zinc, Zn, Transition Metal

About Zinc

From the metals of the iron group, to which it is in many respects similar, zinc differs in the fact that it cannot form any other stage of combination than that containing divalent ion. In this respect it forms an intermediate member between nickel, which has lost this property for the most part, and magnesium, in the case of which no trace of that property is present.

Zinc occurs fairly abundantly in nature, both as oxygen compounds (carbonate and silicate), and as sulphide or blende. Zinc is obtained from both these and is a white, fairly soft metal which melts as low as 420° and boils at 950°. In the air and in water it oxidises very quickly. Since, however, the zinc hydroxide or carbonate which is formed covers the underlying metal with a coherent coating, the oxidation proceeds for the most part slowly, and objects made of zinc resist the influence of air and water fairly well.

Cast zinc is coarsely crystalline and brittle. If, however, the metal is heated to somewhat over 100°, it becomes soft and tenacious, and can be hammered and rolled. Having once undergone this treatment, it remains tenacious even at the ordinary temperature. If it is heated to about 300°, it again becomes extremely brittle, and at that temperature can be ground to a powder; on being cooled, it retains a somewhat brittle character.

Zinc is employed not only in the pure state, but also to a large extent in alloys. Its most important alloy is that with copper; it is called brass, and will be treated under copper. With copper and nickel it forms German silver.

Zinc is also used for coating iron in order to protect it from rust; this is then known as " galvanised " iron. Iron objects which remain constantly exposed to the air, such as railings, agricultural implements, etc., are in this way rendered durable. It is true that zinc in contact with iron oxidises more quickly than when alone, but the oxidation is limited to the surface.

At 420° zinc fuses, and this temperature is low enough to allow of the metal being largely used for castings. At 950° zinc is converted into a vapour, which burns in the air with a brilliant blue flame, forming zinc oxide. The density of this vapour yields the molar weight 65.4; as this number also represents the combining weight, the formula of zinc in the vaporous state is Zn. It contains, therefore, only one combining weight, whereas most of the elements in the gaseous or vaporous form have the double formula. The other metals, however, so far as they are known in the vaporous state, exhibit the same peculiarity as zinc.

It is on the volatility of zinc that its manufacture depends. The oxygen ores are heated directly with charcoal; the sulphide, after being converted into zinc oxide by roasting in the air. The metal formed by the reduction of the oxide with charcoal volatilises and is collected in suitable receivers with exclusion of air, while the impurities remain behind in the retort.

In this process a portion of the metal is obtained in a form in which it is often used in the laboratory, viz. as zinc dust. So long as the temperature of the receiver remains below the melting-point of zinc, the metal is deposited in the form of a fine grey powder. (The relations are exactly the same as in the formation of flowers of sulphur.) This powdery form of zinc is more suitable for many chemical purposes than the fused; in using it, however, it must be remembered that it generally contains a considerable amount of zinc oxide in consequence of an incipient oxidation.

Recently many attempts have been made to obtain zinc from its ores by first converting it into a salt and then decomposing this by means of the electric current. The difficulty of obtaining a coherent metal free from oxide in this way does not appear as yet to have been overcome.

Zinc History

Humanity was familiar with the manufacture of brass from ancient ages. However the metal zinc was not was known. Instead of it Phrygian ash, used for healing sore eyes, was mentioned in the Ebers papyrus from about 1552 BC, the oldest preserved medical document. Brass is known probably since 2 century BC. In Europe it is produced since year 1400 AD. Smelting and extraction of metal zinc was accomplished perhaps since XII century AD in India. Several hypotheses exist about the origin of the name "zinc". Some of scientists suppose that it may also be derived from Persian sing for stone. A Lexicon of Alchemy by Martin Ruland (Martinus Rulandus the Elder) defines zinc as metallic marcasite, a mixture of four elements. By another, less credible version the name derives from ancient or medieval German Zinco or Zinke = sharp point. Some suppose a relation with Zinn, the German word for Tin.

Zinc belongs to the Transition metals family.

Zinc Occurrence

Average crustal abundance of zinc is 8.3x10-3 mass %. In basic igneous rocks its abundance slightly bigger than in the acidic ones: 1.3x10-2% vs. 6x10-3%. This chalcophilic element is, nevertheless, found in 66 rocks, the most important of them are zincite, sphalerite, willemite, calamine, smithsonite and franklinite ZnFe2O4. Zinc is a very active aquatic migrant, especially in thermal waters with accompanied by Lead from which commercially important zinc sulphides are settled out. Zinc actively migrates also in surface and underground waters, settled out by H2S or, in a less degree, by clay sorption.

Zinc is an essential element, necessary for sustaining all life. A grown-up human body contains 2 g of zinc. Despite zinc-containing enzymes are omnipresent, its actual concentration is so small, that its importance was fully understood only 100 years ago. Its significant role is based on the fact that zinc may be found in more than 40 essential enzymes. It catalyzes hydrolysis peptides, proteins, some esters and aldehydes. The most important of them are carboxypeptidase A and carbonic anhydrase.

Zinc contributes to carbohydrate metabolism via insulin and activates vitamin A in the organism. It plays noticeable role for bone formation as well as for its antivirus and antitoxic activity.


Chemical Elements


© Copyright 2008-2012 by