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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Organic Inorganic Physical Chemistry Higher secondary school College Notes

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Zinc: Occurrence, principles of extraction, Properties and Uses

Zinc : Atomic mass : 65.37 Valence : 2 Atomic number : 30 Symbol : Zn Position in the periodic table : Period Number -4, Group Number -12.

Occurrence and principles of extraction of zinc

Zinc

Atomic mass : 65.37                    Valence : 2

Atomic number : 30                     Symbol : Zn

Position in the periodic table : Period Number -4, Group Number -12.

The ancient used an alloy of Zn and Cu not very different from brass without knowing its actual composition. Zinc has been known in our country for a long time and has been mentioned in Ayurvedic treatises as yashda. It is commonly called jast.

Occurrence

Zinc does not occur in the native form since it is a reactive metal. However, in the combined state, zinc is widely distributed.

Ores

The important ores of zinc are

i)     Zinc blende, ZnS

ii)    Calamine, ZnCO3

iii)    Zincite, ZnO

The chief ore of Zinc is Zinc blende. In India large deposits of zinc blende occur in Zawar mines near Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Extraction of Zinc from Zinc blende

The extraction of Zinc from Zinc blende involves the following steps.

1. Concentration

The ore is crushed and then concentrated by froth-floatation process.

2. Roasting

The concentrated ore is then roasted in the presence of excess of air at about 1200 K.

 

D

2 ZnS + 3O2  2ZnO     + 2SO 2

3.    Reduction

Zinc oxide is mixed with powdered coke and heated to 1673 K in a fire clay retort, in which ZnO is reduced to zinc metal.

 

ZnO + C ----1673K --- > Zn + CO

Purification

Zinc is purified by electrolytic refining. In this process, Impure Zinc is anode and cathode is of pure thin sheet of Zinc. The electrolyte is ZnSO4 solution containing a little of dil.H2SO4. On passing electric current, pure zinc get deposited at the cathode.

Properties

Physical properties

i)     Zinc is a bluish white metal

ii)    It is good conductor of heat and electricity. I

ii)    It is malleable and ductile.

Chemical properties

i)     Action of air

When heated in air at 773 K, it burns to form a white cloud of Zinc oxide which settles to form a wooly flock called philosopher's wool.

 

2Zn + O2 ----773K --- > 2ZnO

ii) Action of water

Pure zinc does not react with water but impure zinc (Zn-Cu couple) decomposes steam quite readily evolving H2 gas.

Zn + H2O (steam) ZnO + H2

iii) Action of dilute acids

Pure zinc is not attacked by dilute acids. However, impure zinc reacts with dilute acids with the liberation of H2.

Zn + 2HCl      ZnCl2 + H2

Zn + H2SO4  ZnSO4 + H2

iv) Action of con.H2SO4

Zinc reacts with hot con.H2SO4 forming ZnSO4.

Zn + 2H2SO4       ZnSO4 + SO2  + 2H2O

v)    Action of HNO3

Zinc reacts with HNO3 at various concentrations and it gives different

products.

 

4 Zn + 10 HNO3 (dil) 4 Zn (NO3)2 + N2O + 5 H2O

Nitrous oxide

 

4 Zn + 10 HNO3 (very dilute) 4 Zn (NO3)2 + NH4NO3 + 3H2O

Ammoniumnitrate

vi) Action of alkalies

Zinc dissolves in hot NaOH solution forming soluble zincate ion.

 

Zn + 2NaOH + 2H2O Na2ZnO2 + H2O

Sodium zincate

Uses of zinc

1.    It is widely used for galvanizing iron sheets.

2.    It is used in the extraction of gold and silver by the cyanide process.

3.    Zinc plates and rods are used in batteries and dry cells.

4.    Zinc dust and granulated zinc are used in laboratory as reducing agents.

 

 

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