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Zinc Chloride Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 23 May, 2022
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Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn. Its atomic number is 30, and its electron configuration is [Ar]3d10 4s2. It is mostly used for galvanizing other metals in order to protect them from rusting. It is a slightly brittle metal at room temperature and has a silvery-greyish appearance when oxidation is removed. It occurs abundantly in minerals, and it is an essential micronutrient for both plants and animals. It is an essential trace element in the human body, where it is found in high concentrations of red blood cells. Chlorine is a chemical element with symbol Cl .it’s atomic number is 17 and it’s electron configuration is [Ne]3s2 3p5 or 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5.It is the second lightest member of the halogen elements of the periodic table. It is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. It is used especially as a bleach, oxidizing agent, and disinfectant in water purification. Chlorine was first isolated in 1774 by the Swiss-German chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

Zinc Chloride Formula

Zinc Chloride is a chemical compound of zinc and chlorine with the formula ZnCl2. It is also called Zinc Dichloride, butter of zinc, or zinc(II)chloride. It is a colorless liquid and highly soluble in water, and it exhibits hygroscopic qualities. It is used in dry cells as an electrolyte. It is mildly corrosive to metals. It causes burns to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. There are nine different crystalline forms of ZnCl2 that are currently known .this chemical compound is strongly deliquescent and is utilized as a drying agent and as a flux.  It can be prepared by a direct reaction or by evaporating the aqueous solution formed in various reactions.

Preparation Of Zinc Chloride 

Anhydrous Zinc Chloride can be prepared from zinc and hydrogen chloride. Dissolve your zinc in dilute hydrochloric acid. It will give off hydrogen, and the remaining will contain Zinc Chloride.                                                                                     

Zn + 2 HCl ⇢ ZnCl2 + H

In order to obtain a hydrated form of the compound hydrochloric acid can be used to treat zinc instead of hydrogen chloride. Hydrochloric acid also reacts with zinc sulfide to form Zinc Chloride and also produces hydrogen sulfide. 

Zn + 2 HCL ⇢  ZnCl2 + H2S

Structure Of Zinc Chloride

The zinc Chloride chemical formula is ZnCl2. It is an inorganic binary salt. A molecule of Zinc Chloride features ionic bonding between the zinc cation (Zn2+) and the chloride anions (Cl). Then the structure of Zinc Chloride is shown below.


Physical Properties Of Zinc Chloride

  • Zinc Chloride molecular weight is 136.315 gr/mole
  • Its density is 2.907 g/cm3
  • Its boiling point is 732°C 
  • Its melting point is 290°C

Chemical Properties Of Zinc Chloride

  • Zinc Chloride chemical formula is ZnCl2
  • It is a white crystalline solid
  • It is very soluble in water, ether, alcohol, and glycerol
  • it should be safeguarded from all sources of moisture
  • With excess water, zinc oxychlorides are formed. When Zinc Chloride is dissolved in water, the solution becomes acidic.
  • When heated ZnCl2, the hydrated form of zinc chloride loses water, and small quantities of ZnCl(OH) are obtained.

Uses Of Zinc Chloride

  • Zinc Chloride is used in dry cells as an electrolyte. 
  • It is used in the manufacture of magnesia cement for dental fillings.
  • It can be used as a catalyst in organic processes.
  • It is used in certain mouthwashes as an active ingredient.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of various dyes, intermediate chemicals, and solvents.
  • It is a primary ingredient in smoke bombs used by the military for screening purposes.
  • It is a medication used to treat zinc deficiencies and is also used as an alternative medicine for the cause of dead tissue to cure skin cancers.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What are the hazards and handling considerations of Zinc Chloride?


Toxic Zinc Chloride is corrosive by ingestion and highly irritant by inhalation. Zinc Chloride causes ulceration and burns, and chronic exposure has been associated with anorexia, fatigue, and weight loss. Prior to working with Zinc Chloride, you should be trained on its proper handling and storage. To handle It, minimize dust generation and accumulation. Do not get in eyes on skin or on clothing. Do not ingest or inhale. Use only in a chemical fume hood.

Question 2: What is Zinc Chloride Battery?


Zinc Chloride cells use a higher concentration of anolyte, which is primarily composed of zinc chloride which can produce a more consistent voltage output in high drain applications

Question 3: Is Zinc Chloride harmful to the environment?


The substance is very toxic to aquatic organisms. Zinc Chloride is a severe marine pollutant that may cause long-term adverse effects on the aquatic environment. It is strongly advised not to let the chemical enter the environment.

Question 4: Is Zinc Chloride safe in mouthwash?


Yes. Zinc Chloride has a long safe history of use as an effective mouthwash ingredient. Zinc is formulated into oral health products to control plaque, reduce malodor and inhibit calculus formation. Many experts believe the addition of zinc ions in mouthwash is the best way to help reduce bacteria. 

Question 5: What chemicals react with zinc?


Zinc is a chemical element with the symbol Zn. Its atomic number is 30. It reacts with acids, alkalis, and other non-metals. Extremely pure zinc reacts only slowly at room temperature with acids Strong acids such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid can remove the passivating layer, and the subsequent reaction with the acid releases hydrogen gas.

Question 6: Why zinc is used in dry cells?


Zinc is a medium reactive metal and is oxidized slowly by air .it is electropositive as compared to carbon which is used as a positive electrode in a dry cell. So it donates electrons, and a current is produced. It is not very reactive and is consumed slowly so it is used in dry cells.

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