Cobalt sulfate group of compounds include any of the inorganic substances with the formula CoSO4(H2O)x. Most often however cobalt sulfate refers to the hexa- or heptahydrates CoSO4.6H2O or CoSO4.7H2O, respectively. Appearance-wise, the heptahydrate is a red solid. It is soluble in water and methanol. It is also odourless.
Because cobalt sulfate has an odd number of electrons, its salts are paramagnetic in nature.
Nowadays, the most common method of manufacturing cobalt sulfate on a large scale and in large quantities is to treat cobalt oxide with sulfuric acid. Another method uses cobalt instead of its oxide. The following are the chemical reactions:
Co + H2SO4 + 7 H2O → CoSO4(H2O)7 + H2
CoO + H2SO4 + 6 H2O → CoSO4(H2O)7
Pigments and dyes
Hydrated cobalt sulfate is incorporated in the preparation of pigments as well as in the manufacture of other cobalt salts.Because of its properties, it can be found in minted ceramics and glass.
Cobalt sulfate is used in electroplating baths and storage batteries.
Cobalt sulfate is also use as an additive to soil and animal feed.