Zinc chloride (ZnCl2) is an important compound and it is exists in its nine crystalline forms which are either colorless or white. It is actually a granular powder which we get by heating calcium chloride and zinc sulfate together. It has a specific gravity of 2.75, a pH of 4 and a burning taste. The anhydrous zinc chloride which is white is known for its solubility in water. This compound, which is deliquescent has several applications and the main uses include chemical synthesis and textile processing.
All those who use this compound should be aware of the safety measures which are to be followed for its daily use. Experts suggest that it should be kept in air tight containers and stored in cool and dry place. Also, while you use this chemical, you should use protective rubber gloves and goggles for your personal safety. Given below are some of its uses.
Water Purity: Zinc chloride, being hygroscopic, is used to keep up purity of water. It is present in drinking water.
Agriculture: Zinc is an important element for the fast growth of plants. Crops are exposed to zinc solutions which are prepared by combining chelating agents with zinc chloride.
Dry Cell Batteries: Being an electrolyte and a moisture absorbent, it is used widely in dry cell batteries. Another reason for its use in these batteries is its property or ability to prevent corrosion.
Separation of Oil from Water: It is used for separation of oil from water as it is an emulsion breaker.
Oil and Gas Wells: It is used in oil and gas wells as a packer fluid due to its larger specific gravity. Well completion becomes simpler with the combination of zinc chloride and calcium chloride.
Production of resins: One of the major uses of zinc chloride is in the production of ion exchange resins.
Vulcanization of rubber: It acts as an accelerator in the process of vulcanization of rubber.
Use in Flux: It is widely used in fluxes for the purpose of tinning, galvanizing and soldering. It is capable of removing salts and oxides from surfaces of various metals. A zinc chloride flux is also known as a 'cleaning agent'.
Hydrogen Sulfide Control: It is used to control, release of hydrogen sulfide gas with its reaction with sulfide and helps to cut odor of this gas.
Herbicide: One of the most vital uses is its effectiveness in controlling growth of moss and lichen on house roofs, fences and other domestic places.
Treatment of Ulcers: It is antiseptic by nature. It is widely used in treatment for pododermatitis and ulcers. Zinc supplements are very beneficial for maintaining good health
Use in Printing and Textiles: Its uses also include its application as a mordant in dyeing and printing textiles.
Dehydrating Agent: Anhydrous zinc chloride can be used as a dehydrating agent in the process of chemical synthesis.
Applications in Glue and Wood Industry: It has applications in glue and wood industry. While it is helpful for manufacturing and preserving glue, it is also used in the saturation of timber. Along with sodium dichromate, it is helpful in preserving wood.
Electroplating: Electroplating is a process in which metal coating is ready by the use of electrolysis. It is extremely helpful in electroplating of useful substances.
Refining of Ore: It is used as a floating agent in the process of refining of ore.
Protection of Human Cells: It provides protection to liver cells and the kidney. For this purpose, zinc is used along with mercury. It is also used for developing the immune system of the human body.
Welding: It is used for welding purposes. This is mainly because of its ability to dissolve metal oxides in a molten state.
Preparation of Chemicals and Useful Materials: It is very useful in preparation of methylene chloride, zinc chemicals, diazonium compounds, zinc bacitracin and ethylacetate. It is widely used in processes like the Friedel Craft Reaction and Azotropic or Azeotropic Distillation.
From the above information, it is very clear that this compound is one of the most widely used in the industry. Finally, the need of the hour is to invent more uses of zinc chloride with laboratory research for a better human life.