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zinc sulfate,chemical compound ZnSO4, a very water soluble, transparent, colorless, crystalline compound. It is commonly used as the heptahydrate, ZnSO4·7H2O, and is commonly called white vitriol; it occurs naturally as the mineral goslarite, and can be prepared by reacting zinc with sulfuric acid. It is used to supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilizers, and agricultural sprays; in making lithopone; in coagulation baths for rayon; in electrolyte for zinc plating; as a mordant in dyeing; as a preservative for skins and leather; and in medicine as an astringent and emitic.
ZnSO4, a colorless crystalline compound, with a density of 3.74 g/cm3. Its solubility in water is 29.4 percent at O°C and 37.7 percent at 99°C. At temperatures below 38.8°C, ZnSO4·7H2O (zinc vitriol) crystallizes from solution, and between 38.8°C and 70°C, ZnSO4·6H2O. The monohydrate ZnSO4H2O forms above 70°C, which dehydrates at 238°C. Between 600°C and 900°C, zinc sulfate decomposes into ZnO and SO2. Weak solutions of zinc sulfate become turbid upon hydrolysis as a result of the precipitation of 3Zn(OH)2·ZnSO4·4H2O.
Zinc vitriol is obtained by evaporation and crystallization from solutions, usually as a by-product in the production of zinc. It is used in the production of viscoses, mineral pigments, and glazes. In metallurgy it is used as a flotation reagent. It is also used in medicine.