Introduction: India is the country that recognised zinc as a metal for the first time. There are pieces of evidence in history that zinc was refined on a large scale during the period 1100 to 1500 in a zinc smelter at Zawar in the present Rajasthan state. Romans know about zinc much before Indians but Romans never recognised the uses of this metal those days. There are indications that China also carried out zinc smelting way back in the 1500s. A Flemish Scientist P. Moras de Respour extracted zinc metal from zinc oxide in the year 1668. In 1746 a German chemist Andreas Margograf also reported the discovery of zinc as an element.
Zinc is bluish-white in colour. This element belongs to group II B of the periodic table.
It belongs to the d block and 4th period of the period table. At room temperature it is brittle. But at higher temperatures (at about110 - 150^Oc) the ductility of the material will increase.
Zinc Production: There are many ores of zinc. The important ores are zinc blende (zinc sulphide) and calamine (zinc silicate). The zinc mines are in China, Australia and Peru. There are zinc mines in India also.
Zinc is extracted by the following steps.
Properties of zinc The various chemical and physical properties of this metal are mentioned below.
Uses of zinc: Zinc is having many uses and industrial applications also. Some are discussed below.
Health effects of zinc: Zinc is very essential for human beings to maintain good health. If zinc is less in the body, people will lose appetite. Their sensing ability of taste and smell will also comedown. At the same time, too much zinc in the body will cause skin irritations, cramps, vomiting and anaemia. Excess zinc chloride may cause respiratory problems.
Conclusion:Zinc is a very important metal that has many uses in the modern world. Zinc plays an important role in the health of human beings. Zinc is having many industrial applications. Thus zinc is an essential material on this earth for human beings.
Zinc is an important metal and is mainly used in the galvanising process, which protects iron and steel from rusting. Zinc is also used to make alloys with many other metals like copper and tin. It has important use in the pharmaceutic industry also. As per the year 2020 industrial data, the world mine production of zinc during that year was approximately 12 million tonnes. If we see the break up of this data then China is the biggest producer of Zinc at 4.2 million tonnes while India (after Australia 1.4 million tonnes and Peru 1.2 million tonnes) is at fourth position with 0.7 million tonnes.
The zinc reserves across the world are estimated approximately at about 250 million tonnes. As per US Geological Survey, Australia, China, Russia and Mexico are having the largest zinc reserves.
Zinc is produced from recycling also from the old galvanised steel, batteries, scrap alloys etc and a good amount of it is recovered in the process of recycling.
One of the most important properties of zinc is its ability to form complex compounds. It can combine with a variety of other elements, including oxygen, sulfur, and chlorine, to form compounds such as zinc oxide, zinc sulfide, and zinc chloride.
Another important property of zinc is its ability to act as a catalytic agent. It can speed up chemical reactions without being consumed in the process. This makes it useful in catalytic converters, which reduce emissions from cars, as well as in the production of chemicals such as ethylene and methanol.
Despite its potential negative effects, zinc is an important element that plays a vital role in many aspects of our lives. Its diverse chemistry makes it useful for a wide range of applications, from sunscreen to catalytic converters and from fertilizers to medicine.