ThePipingMart Blog Metals How is zinc oxide converted into metallic zinc?

How is zinc oxide converted into metallic zinc?

zinc oxide , metallic zinc

Have you ever wondered how zinc oxide is converted into metallic zinc? The process, which is known as smelting or reduction, requires certain steps and chemicals in order to work. Let’s take a closer look at the chemistry of converting zinc oxide into metallic zinc.

The process of smelting zinc oxide begins by heating the oxide with carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide helps break down the strong bond between oxygen and zinc atoms, allowing them to separate from each other. During this step, the temperature must be kept under control so that it does not exceed 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit).

Once the temperature is regulated, a chemical reaction takes place in which oxygen molecules are released, and pure metallic zinc is formed. This newly formed material can then be collected in liquid form due to its high melting point. It will cool down and solidify as it cools off, forming pure metallic zinc crystals.

In some cases, another chemical called chlorine may also be used instead of carbon monoxide to facilitate the reaction between oxygen and zinc atoms. Chlorine has a stronger bond than carbon monoxide and therefore reacts more quickly with oxygen during the smelting process. However, chlorine must be handled carefully as it is toxic when inhaled or ingested in large quantities.


Converting zinc oxide into metallic form requires certain steps and chemicals that must be carefully monitored throughout the entire process. By using either carbon monoxide or chlorine gas, as well as careful regulation of temperature levels during the smelting process, it is possible to convert zinc oxide into metallic form safely and efficiently. Understanding this process can help businesses utilize this method for their own needs more effectively and efficiently.

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