Zinc chloride

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White deliquescent granules or fused pieces. Zinc chloride acts an astringent and antiseptic and has been used to deodorize, disinfect, and embalm specimens. It is used on wood for preservation and fireproofing. With metals, zinc chloride can act as a flux, etchant, cement, and colorant. For textiles, it has been used to mercerize cotton, weight fabrics, mordant dyes, and vulcanize rubber. It is also used in the manufacture of artificial silk, dyes, cold-water glue, and magnesia cements. As a microscopy reagent, zinc chloride is used to separate silk, wool, and plant fibers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

butter of zinc; zinc butter; zinc dichloride

Chemical structure

Zinc chloride.jpg

Other Properties

Soluble in water, acids, alcohol, glycerol, acetone. pH (aqueous solution) = 4

Reagent preparation: Dissolve 100 g zinc chloride in 85 ml water then add 4 g of zinc oxide. Heat until dissolved.

Composition ZnCl2
CAS 7646-85-7
Melting Point 290
Density 2.907
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 136.29
Refractive Index 1.687, 1.713
Boiling Point 732

Hazards and Safety

Corrosive. Contact causes burns. Harmful by ingestion and inhalation.

Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • The Merck Index, Susan Budavari (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 12th Edition, 1996 Comment: entry 9932
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index = 1.687, 1.713; Reagent preparation: Dissolve 1000 g zinc chloride in 850 ml water then add 40 g of zinc oxide. Heat until solution is complete.

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