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Zinc Oxide >

Chemical formula: ZnO

Grades: Norkem supplies a full range of grades (powder and granular) ranging from Animal Feed grade through to products suitable for Pharmaceutical applications.

Packaging: Material is available in 25 kilo and 1000 kilo nett big bags and in bulk road tankers. Custom packaging available if required.


Availability: Normally a stock item


Material: Zinc Oxide is an inorganic chemical compound that takes the form of white powder. Insoluble in water but soluble in acids, it can be produced through three different manufacturing processes- Indirect (French), Direct (American) and the Wet chemical process.


The Indirect method involves melting zinc metal, vaporising by boiling it and then finally oxidising it to produce zinc oxide. To produce a zinc oxide via the Direct method, the zinc containing raw materials first need to be reduced by carbon, generating a zinc vapour. This is then oxidised through air combustion, resulting in the zinc oxide. The third option, a Wet chemical process, involves dissolving zinc residues in sulphuric acid to produce a zinc sulphate solution. The solution is purified to which sodium hydroxide is added. This results in the precipitation of zinc hydroxide which is dried to form zinc oxide.


The main markets for zinc oxide are tyre and rubber production, ceramics, paint, fertiliser and animal feed.


Zinc oxide is also widely used within the pharmaceutical and medical industries. It can be typically found within surgical tape thanks to its impressive retention of tack over time. Friendly to skin and easy to tear, it can help prevent infections. This type of tape is frequently used by athletes to prevent soft tissue damage.


Frequently added to sunscreens for stronger protection, zinc oxide is renowned for its broad UVA and UVB blocking abilities. Crucially, it is non-allergenic. Zinc oxide can also be found in other lotions, creams and ointments, including those that help to heal burns. It is regularly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, diaper rash, dandruff and dermatitis.


Within the ceramics industry, zinc oxide is crucial for the creation of glazes. By adding zinc oxide to the mixture, the elasticity of a glaze will improve and the melting point lowered. This can result in a smoother finish and reduce the chance of cracking.