Chemical Formula: ZnCO3
Grades: Norkem provides technical grade zinc carbonate. The specifications can be modified to suit customer requirements.
Packaging: Material is available in 25 kilo or 800 kilo nett bags.
Availability: Normally a stock item.
Material: Zinc Carbonate is a white and odourless powder. Amorphous in structure, without a defined crystallised shape, it begins to decompose at higher temperatures. As it heats up, the zinc carbonate begins to turn yellow before reverting to white upon cooling. This thermal decomposition process produces zinc oxide and carbon dioxide.
Zinc carbonate is insoluble in water, alcohol and acetone and is only slightly soluble in ammonia. It is completely soluble in alkalis and acids.
To create zinc carbonate, a water soluble zinc salt is reacted with sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Zinc sulphate is a common choice. Alternatively, zinc carbonate can be produced from the reaction of carbon dioxide with zincates. The zinc carbonate precipitated from this reaction is filtered and left to dry. The environment in which it is stored should be kept free of any acidic vapours.
Uses of Zinc Carbonate
The most common use of zinc carbonate is as a raw material in the production of rubber. Used as a compound element, it helps to improve the translucency or transparency of the natural rubber material. It is able to do so because the two materials occupy a similar place on the refractive index. However, it can also be used with more brightly pigmented rubber as it acts as a curing agent to help speed up the hardening of the rubber’s surface. In addition, zinc carbonate provides protection for rubber exposed to flame level temperatures by acting as a fire-proofing filler.
Much like other zinc compounds, zinc carbonate is frequently used as an animal feed additive. A zinc deficiency can restrict an animal’s growth due to the impact it has on bone development. Zinc is a vital element within insulin, providing enzymes with their structure and enabling them to function. Pigs and poultry are particularly at risk and will generally display a lack of appetite.
Looking to the future, one of the biggest growth areas for zinc carbonate is the cosmetic industry. It is used in a wide range of products, including makeup, hair and skin care, bath products and shaving items. Its ability to boost transparency means it is increasingly used to create sunscreen creams. However, zinc carbonate can also be used as an opacifier in shampoo to give the liquid a cloudy appearance, whilst also helping to moisturise the scalp.
Other applications of zinc carbonate include use as a sulphur absorber in the petroleum and chemical fertiliser industries. Its antiseptic properties also ensure that it is frequently used in pharmaceuticals. The strong white pigmentation of zinc carbonate means that it is used in paints and ceramics.