Zinc is a chemical element with atomic number 30. It is useful to humans in several ways like it is a vital nutrient in our body; it is useful in making alloys and batteries. Today, in our article titled “Zinc Facts,” we will learn about basic facts about Zinc, its properties, applications, and other exciting zinc facts. Let us begin.
Zinc Facts 1-8
1. The atomic number of Zinc is 30. The symbol of the element is Zn. Its atomic weight is 65.38.
2. It is silver-gray or bluish silver in color. It belongs to group 12 and period 4. It is present in the d-block.
3. It is a transition metal. Its electronic configuration is [Ar] 3d104s2 or 1s22s22p63s23p63d104s2.
4. It is solid at room temperature. Its melting point is 419.53 °C or 787.15 °F or 692.68 K.
5. Its boiling point is 907 °C or1665 °F or 1180 K.
6. Its density is 7.14 g/cm3. It has an atomic radius of 134 pm or picometers. It has a primordial occurrence.
7. The crystal structure of Zinc is a hexagonal close-packed structure. It has a Mohs hardness of 2.5 and Brinell hardness of 327 to 412 MPa.
8. It is a diamagnetic metal meaning the magnetic field repels the metals or elements.
Zinc Facts 9-16
9. There are 30 isotopes of Zinc. The table below lists the 30 isotopes of Zinc.
|Name of Isotope||Type and Abundance||Half-Life|
|64Zn||Stable (49.2% abundance)||—|
|66Zn||Stable (27.7% abundance)||—|
|67Zn||Stable (4% abundance)||—|
|68Zn||Stable (18.5% abundance)||—|
|70Zn||Stable (0.6% abundance)||—|
ms – milliseconds
s – seconds
m – minutes
h – hours
d – days
10. Since ancient times, Zinc is used to make alloys like brass. Some alloys consisted of 80-90% Zinc with iron, lead, and other metals, making up the remainder. These alloys are 2500 years old.
11. The usage of Zinc in pills or tablets for sore eyes was found on Relitto del Pozzino, a Roman ship, destroyed in 140 BCE.
12. Romans started manufacturing brass in around 30 BCE. Charaka Samhita and Rasaratna Samuccya have details about Zinc and its compounds.
13. In the rule of king Madanapala (in 1374), Zinc was called Yasada or Jasada. Indians started smelting Zinc in around 13th C.E.
14. A German alchemist, Paracelsus, most probably gave the present name “Zinc” to the element. He called the element ‘zincum’ or ‘zinken,’ which is derived from the German word “Zinke,” meaning jagged or tooth-like or tin-like.
15. The metal had several names like Indian tin, calamine, spinter, and tutanego.
16. Isolation of Zinc was first done in India in the 13th century. However, the credit for the isolation of Zinc is given to Berlin’s Andreas Marggraf in 1746.
Zinc Facts 17-24
17. As mentioned earlier, it is bluish-silver or silver grey. It is a lustrous metal that tarnishes in humid air and produces a carbonate layer over it.
18. It is a little brittle but is malleable if heated over 100 degrees Celsius. It reacts with both acids and bases.
19. It conducts electricity and burns with a bright bluish-green flame.
20. It is a reactive element. It is a powerful reducing agent. The usual oxidation state of Zinc is +2. The other oxidation state of Zinc is +1. Other oxidation states of Zinc are not found.
21. Zinc is used in several ways like galvanizing (55%), making bronze and brass (16%), and making other alloys (21%).
22. Zinc is majorly used to coat steel or iron as it acts as an anti-corrosion agent.
23. Brass is an alloy made up of copper and Zinc. Brass is used in making hardware equipment, water valves, and musical instruments.
24. Other alloys of Zinc are nickel silver, commercial bronze, aluminum solder.
Zinc Facts 25-32
25. Alloys of Zinc are used to make pipes and machine bearings.
26. Zinc is the principal metal present in one-cent coins of America since the year 1982.
27. Alloys of Zinc are also used in spin casting, specifically in hardware, electrical, and automotive industries.
28. Zamak is the name given to these types of alloys of Zinc. These alloys have low viscosity and low melting point, which is useful to mold the alloy to desired shapes.
29. Zinc is cheaper than iron and lead and hence replaces both lead and iron. Zinc is recyclable. 30% of the Zinc used today is recycled material.
30. Zinc oxide is used in ointments and make-up, such as Lacto-calamine lotion. Other uses of Zinc oxide are concrete manufacturing, rubber factory, and in paints.
31. Zinc is used in dietary supplements as well. It helps in treating gastroenteritis and the common cold. It helps in gaining weight as deficiency of Zinc causes loss of appetite, which in turn causes weight loss.
32. Zinc is present even in mouthwashes, toothpaste to prevent and reduce bad breath, shampoos to reduce and prevent dandruff. Zinc is useful even in the reduction of genital herpes.
Zinc Facts 33-40
33. It is present up to 75 ppm in Earth’s crust. It is the 24th most abundant element. Zinc is present anywhere between 5 ppm to 770 ppm in soil.
34. Seawater has 30 ppb of Zinc, and the solar system has two ppm of Zinc. The atmosphere has 0.1–4 µg/m3. Zinc is present mostly in the form of ores along with sulfur, lead, and copper. It is a chalcophile and is seen mostly with sulfur, and 95% of mined Zinc comes from sulfur-containing ores.
35. Sphalerite (primary ore), smithsonite, wurtzite, hydrozincite, and hemimorphite are the ores that are usually mined to get Zinc.
36. Largest deposits of Zinc are present in Iran. Other countries that have massive deposits of Zinc are Australia, the United States of America, and Canada.
37. Zinc is an essential micronutrient for most plants and animals, including humans. It is essential even for microorganisms.
39. Semen is rich in Zinc, and Zinc is essential for normal reproductive health.
40. Zinc is present in many enzymes and different proteins. It is present in building DNA.
Zinc Facts 41-48
41. As per the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of Zinc for adults is 8 to 11 mg/day, for infants is 3mg/day, and children from 1 to 13 years are 3 to 8 mg/day.
42. Upper Intake Level for adults is 40 mg/day. Meat, cereals, fowl, shellfish, fish, eggs, and dairy contain Zinc.
43. It is estimated that 2 billion people suffer from a deficiency of Zinc.
44. Deficiency of Zinc is associated with sickle cell disease, malabsorption, diabetes, chronic liver and kidney disease, malignancy, and acrodermatitis enteropathica.
45. Plants also suffer from a deficiency of Zinc. If you consume more Zinc than RDA, it can be harmful. It causes induced copper deficiency. It causes loss of smell. It damages the stomach lining.
46. It even causes diarrhea, kidney or liver damage, anemia, vomiting, among other health issues. If any person consumes over a kilogram of Zinc or 425 pennies can cause even death.
47. The cost of one kilogram of pure Zinc is $53.
48. The cost of one kilogram of bulk Zinc is $1.8.