Zinc Oxide: an additive widely used in different industries

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an inorganic white powder, insoluble in water and used as an additive in numerous materials and products including cosmetics, food, rubbers, plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, lubricants, paints, adhesives, sealants, pigments, batteries, fire retardants, and first-aid tapes, etc.

In the rubber industry, ZnO is used as a vulcanizing activator. It is also used as a cross-linking agent for elastomers such as neoprene and polysulfide.

ZnO is widely used in the cosmetics industry as a broad-spectrum UV absorber (both UV-a and UV-B) in moisturizers, make-up products, ointments, lip products, and hand creams. ZnO is also used as an additive in cosmetic products as it improves adhesion of cosmetics to the skin.  It is also widely used to treat a variety of skin conditions, in products such as baby powder and creams, anti-dandruff shampoos, and antiseptic ointments.

ZnO catalysts are used in methanol production: hydrogenation of carbon monoxide is catalyzed by a mixture of zinc and chromium oxides. Alkali promoted ZnO is used as a catalyst for iso-butyl production from synthesis gas. ZnO is also used to catalyze the production of caprolactam which is then further processed to obtain nylon 6.

Zinc oxide has antibacterial and deodorizing properties and is used in the disinfection of water. ZnO nanoparticles have antimicrobial activities against pathogenic microorganisms, the antibacterial and antibiofilm activity was found to be inversely proportional to the size of the synthesized ZnO nanoparticles.

Although it occurs naturally as the mineral zincite, most zinc oxide is produced synthetically.

Characterization of Zinc oxide powder and particles properties is fundamental to improve final product quality. In Alfatestlab we provide a set of analytical techniques to help you investigate raw material properties such as:

  • Surface area
  • Particle size and shape
  • Thermal analysis
  • Powder flow properties

… as well as final product and formulation characteristics such as stability and rheology.

Contact us to discuss your analytical and formulation needs!




Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, Volume 17, March 2019, Pages 71-80

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