Zinc carbonate occurs in nature as the mineral Smithsonite aka zinc spar.
Zinc carbonate, like other carbonates, dissolves easily in acidic solution due to its basic nature, but is insoluble in water. This reaction gives off carbon dioxide. It will also dissolve in an excess of strong base to form zincates. Zinc carbonate can be thermally decomposed to form zinc oxide.
Zinc carbonate is a white compound. The natural variety contains impurities, giving it blue, pink or green coloring. ZnCO3 has a density of 4,398 g/cm3. At high temperatures it will begin to decompose. Zinc carbonate is insoluble in water.
Zinc carbonate can be purchased from chemical suppliers, such as Chemisphere Limited.
Zinc carbonate can be made by reacting zinc sulfate or any other water soluble zinc(II) salt with sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate. It can also be made by the reaction of zincates with carbon dioxide. The resulting precipitate can then be filtered and dried, then stored in an environment free of acidic vapors.
Zinc carbonate poses little toxicity to organisms and environment.
Zinc carbonate should be stored in closed containers, away from any acidic vapors.
No special disposal is required.