What is Zinc Oxide?

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a white powder that manufacturers now use for a variety of medicinal and industrial purposes. Although it is available in its natural state, the processing of zinc oxide typically must occur for manufacturing applications. An indirect process for producing zinc oxide consists of melting metallic zinc to produce a vapor that reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form ZnO. The direct method entails heating zinc ore with carbon to create a zinc vapor followed by oxidization. Employing a wet chemical processing technique is another option.

  • Synonyms: Zinc White, oxozinc, Flowers of Zinc, Zinc White, Calamine, Philosopher S Wool, Chinese White
  • INCI: Zinc Oxide
  • Chemical formula: ZnO
  • CAS #: 1314-13-2
  • Hazard: • H400: Very toxic to aquatic life
    H410: Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects


Use the links below to view all package sizes for these specific products:

Zinc Oxide AZO-66
Zinc Oxide AZO-77 USP
Zinc Oxide ZOCO

Product specifications

Appearanceoff – white solid
SolubilitiesInsoluble in water
Boiling PointNot determined
Melting point3587oF (1975oC)
Molecular weight81.39 g/mol
Weight per gallon10.2 lb/gal
ClassInorganic Compound
GradesIndustrial, Technical, USP, NF Grade

Uses and Applications for Zinc Oxide

Zinc Oxide uses include Animal Feed, Bricks, Ceramics, Chemical Intermediate, Electroplating, Fertilizer, Mildewcide, Paint & Coatings, Rayon, Rubber, Shoes, Tires, UV Absorbent, Wire & Cable, Zinc Plating.

  • Rubber Manufacturing: Between 50% and 60% of ZnO use is in the rubber industry.Zinc oxide along with stearic acid is used in the vulcanization of rubber. ZnO additive also protect rubber from fungi (see medical applications) and UV light.
  • Ceramic Industry: Ceramic industry consumes a significant amount of zinc oxide, in particular in ceramic glaze and frit compositions. The relatively high heat capacity, thermal conductivity and high temperature stability of ZnO coupled with a comparatively low coefficient of expansion are desirable properties in the production of ceramics. ZnO affects the melting point and optical properties of the glazes, enamels, and ceramic formulations.
  • Medicine: Zinc oxide as a mixture with about 0.5% iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3) is called calamine and is used in calamine lotion. Two minerals, zincite and hemimorphite, have been historically called calamine. When mixed with eugenol, a ligand, zinc oxide eugenol is formed, which has applications as a restorative and prosthodontic in dentistry.
  • Cigarette filters: Zinc oxide is added to many food products, including breakfast cereals, as a source of zinc, a necessary nutrient. (Zinc sulfate is also used for the same purpose.) Some prepackaged foods also include trace amounts of ZnO even if it is not intended as a nutrient.
  • Pigment: Zinc white is used as a pigment in paints and is more opaque than lithopone, but less opaque than titanium dioxide. It is also used in coatings for paper. Chinese white is a special grade of zinc white used in artists' pigments.
  • Coatings: Paints containing zinc oxide powder have long been utilized as anticorrosive coatings for metals. They are especially effective for galvanized iron. Iron is difficult to protect because its reactivity with organic coatings leads to brittleness and lack of adhesion. Zinc oxide paints retain their flexibility and adherence on such surfaces for many years

Quick Answers

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a white powder that manufacturers now use for a variety of medicinal and industrial purposes.

When you select Brenntag, you'll work with an experienced specialty and chemical distributor that understands the needs of every customer. Our network of 190 Regional Operating Companies can provide fast service across North America and beyond. You will have access to a host of support services to maximize your user experience. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of using zinc oxide in your products.

Your best approach will be to contact Brenntag North America. Brenntag is the established global market leader in ingredient and chemical distribution and can fully supply all your zinc oxide and other chemical needs.

You can download a copy of the SDS for zinc oxide from Brenntag Connect.

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