Zinc sulfate is a white, odorless crystalline chemical compound. It is often packaged in granular form or as a fine dry powder. Zinc sulfate is very water soluble and forms an acidic solution when dissolved in water. The compound is nonflammable.
Zinc sulfate is manufactured by first heating zinc sulfide ore, then dissolving the compound from the ore and recrystallizing it. It can also be produced by reacting the naturally occurring mineral goslarite with sulfuric acid. Zinc sulfate is available in bulk and is also packaged in capsule and tablet form.
Pharmaceutical Industry : Within the diet, zinc is an essential nutrient. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, it's importance was recognized relatively recently, when low zinc levels were identified in 1961 as the cause of a form of dwarfism. Today, zinc sulfate is used to resolve dietary zinc insufficiency. The National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus website indicates that zinc sulfate is also an effective treatment for diarrhea, gastric ulcers and the management of sickle cell anemia. It may also be helpful in treating acne, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the metabolic effects of Down syndrome, certain fungal and viral infections, and it may improve immune function.
Agricultural Industry : Agriculturally, zinc sulfate is used as a nutritional supplement in animal feed, due to its high level of biological availability. Zinc sulfate is also used to encourage plant growth and is frequently applied to corn, fruit crops, peanuts, vegetables, cotton and especially citrus.
Other Applications : Industrial applications of zinc sulfate include the manufacture of rayon fiber. It is also used as a catalyst in a number of chemical processes. Zinc sulfate acts as a corrosion inhibitor in municipal water treatment systems. Pigments, glues, wood preservatives, galvanized metals and flameproofing compounds can also be produced using zinc sulfate.