Zinc sulfate (also known as white vitriol) is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula ZnSO4. It is a common source of the zinc ion, and is colorless and water soluble.



Zinc sulfate will react with sodium carbonate to yield sodium sulfate and zinc carbonate.

At temperatures over 680 °C, zinc sulfate decomposes to yield sulfur dioxide gas and zinc oxide fumes.


Zinc sulfate is a white hygroscopic solid. It is soluble in water and some alcohols. It forms three hydrates.


Zinc sulfate heptahydrate can be found in nature as the mineral known as goslarite.

Zinc supplements generally contain zinc sulfate, usually mixed with vitamins or sweeteners and are available at pharmacies.

Lastly, it can also be bought from chemical suppliers.


A simple way to make zinc sulfate is to react sulfuric acid with zinc metal.

Zinc sulfate can be prepared by adding zinc metal to a solution of copper(II) sulfate. Metallic copper sponge will precipitate (with small amounts of copper(II) oxide) and the solution will become colorless when the reaction stops. The filtered solution can be boiled to crystallize the zinc sulfate from the solution.




Zinc sulfate has low toxicity and is also sold as a supplement. It's best to avoid consuming lab-grade ZnSO4 though, as it may contain traces of heavy metals (cadmium e.g.). Anhydrous zinc sulfate may cause irritations.


In closed bottles (anhydrous).


Recover zinc metal.


Relevant Sciencemadness threadsEdit

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