Zinc whilst in a different group is chemically similar to Magnesium as both exhibit an oxidation state of 2+ and are a similar sized ion. Zinc is often found as an ore in the earth crust and does not naturally occur without processing. Zinc is often separated from its ore using roasting and electricity to separate it out. Zinc had an early use in the production of Brass as an alloy in the 3rd and 2nd millenium. The discovery of Zinc is credited to the work of Andreas Sigismund Marggraf in 1746. This was furthered in 1800 by the work of Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta who discovered its electrochemical properties. Zinc plays a large role in human development, especially in baby development and growth. Zinc is commonly used in industry for galvanisation, where it is plated to other metals that are less reactive to protect them. It is also used widely in the production of Bronze and Brass for statues and instruments. It is located in Group 12 and it has a melting point of 419°c and a boiling point of 907°c being a solid metal at room temperature.
Known to the ancients.
Used to coat other metal (galvanizing) to protect them from rusting. Also used in alloys such as brass, bronze, nickel. Also in solder, cosmetics and pigments.
Found in the minerals zinc blende (sphalerite) (ZnS), calamine, franklinite, smithsonite (ZnCO3), willemite, and zincite (ZnO).