Zinc chloride

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Zinc chloride
IUPAC name
Zinc chloride
Systematic IUPAC name
Zinc chloride
Other names
Zinc dichloride
Butter of zinc
Molar mass 136.315 g/mol
Appearance White deliquescent crystalline solid
Odor Odorless
Density 2.907 g/cm3
Melting point 292 °C (558 °F; 565 K)
Boiling point 756 °C (1,393 °F; 1,029 K)
208 g/100 ml (0 °C)
272 g/100 ml (10 °C)
367 g/100 ml (20 °C)
408 g/100 ml (25 °C)
435 g/100 ml (30 °C)
453 g/100 ml (40 °C)
471 g/100 ml (50 °C)
495 g/100 ml (60 °C)
549 g/100 ml (80 °C)
614 g/100 ml (100 °C)
Solubility Soluble in acetone, ethanol, glycerol
Solubility in acetone 43.5 g/100 ml (18 °C)
Solubility in ethanol 100 g/100 ml (12.5 °C)
Solubility in glycerol 50 g/100 ml (15.5 °C)
Solubility in hydrazine 8 g/100 ml (20 °C)
Solubility in pyridine 2.6 g/100 ml (12.5 °C)
Vapor pressure ~0 mmHg
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich (anhydrous)
Flash point None
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
350 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Zinc acetate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Zinc chloride is the name of a chemical compound with the formula ZnCl2.



Zinc chloride is a hygroscopic compound, that will absorb water from air to form at least 5 hydrates. Heating zinc chloride hydrate and aqueous solutions of zinc chloride will decompose them, resulting in zinc oxychlorides and HCl.


Zinc chloride is an odorless, hygroscopic and even deliquescent white solid, very soluble in water and ethanol, as well as acetone and glycerol. It will also dissolve in hydrochloric acid.


Zinc chloride is available as hydrated form as metal flux, though this form is not very useful.

Anhydrous zinc chloride can be purchased from chemical suppliers.

Zinc chloride can be found in nature in the form of simonkolleite (zinc chloride hydroxide monohydrate).


Anhydrous zinc chloride can be prepared by reacting zinc metal with chlorine at high temperatures. The hydrated form can also be turned anhydrous by heating it in a stream of hydrogen chloride, or adding thionyl chloride, then boiling off the resulting liquid.


  • Make zinc carbonate
  • Friedel–Crafts acylation catalyst
  • Make alkyl chlorides
  • Make fluorescein
  • Make smoke screens
  • Make tetrachlorozincate compounds
  • Make zinc ammonia chlorides
  • Make zinc Sorel cement
  • Dissolve cellulose
  • Fingerprint detection



Zinc chloride is a skin and respiratory irritant, especially the anhydrous form. As it hydrolyzes in water, it will release hydrochloric acid, which is corrosive. Proper protection should be worn when handling the compound.


Zinc chloride should be kept in closed or sealed containers, especially the anhydrous form. A drybox or desiccator can also be used, though water will slowly get inside the container. For storage of very pure zinc chloride, a Schlenk flask should be used.


Can be neutralized by mixing it with lime water, then poured down the drain or dumped in trash.


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