Zinc Acetate

Zinc acetate is a salt with the chemical formula Zn(CH3CO2)2 (or) C4H6O4Zn. It generally occurs as a dihydrate. Hence the formula is written as Zn(CH3CO2)2.2H2O.

Both the anhydrous and hydrate form of the compound are colorless.

Structure and Formula

Chemical formula of zinc acetate (anhydrous) is Zn(CH3CO2)2 and its structure is as follow,

Zinc Aetate (Anhydrous)
Zinc Aetate Structure (Anhydrous) (Source)

The zinc is coordinated to four oxygen atoms to give a tetrahedral shape. These tetrahedral polyhedral are interconnected by acetate ligands to give a range of polymeric structures.

The chemical formula for the hydrate form is Zn(CH3CO2)2.2H2O and has a structure as follow,

Zinc Acetate (Dihydrate)
Structure of Dihydrate form (Source)

The zinc here is octahedral. And both the acetate groups are bidentate.


Now, let’s move on to the discussion of properties of this compound which implies physical properties and chemical properties.

Physical Properties

So, here are the physical properties of the compound Zn(CH3CO2)2

Molecular weight (anhydrous)183.50 g/mol
Molecular weight (dihydrous)219.50 g/mol
Density (dihydrate)1.74 g/cm3
Melting point273°C
Boiling pointdecomposes
AppearenceColorless crystalline solid
OdourFaint acetic
Water solubility43g/100ml
Molecular shapeTetrahedral

Chemical Properties

Following are the chemical properties of the compound Zn(CH3CO2)2

  • Flammability = Non flammable or Combustible
  • Toxicity = Mildly toxic (humans)
  • pH value = 5 – 6
  • Standard enthalpy of formation (dihydrous) = (1669.35 ± 1.30) kJ · mol

Zinc ion(II) reacts with aq. Ammonia to precipitate and give a white gelatinous  Zn(OH)2.

\(Zn^{+2}(aq) + 2NH_3(aq) +  2H_2O(l)  \rightleftharpoons Zn(OH)_2(s) + 2NH_4^{+}(aq)\)

Aqueous ammonia
Aqueous ammonia (Source)

Preparation of Zinc Acetate

It is prepared using either Zn(Zinc) or ZnO(Zinc oxide)

\(2CH_3COOH + Zn \rightarrow Zn(CH_3COO)_2 + H_2\)

\(2CH_3COOH + ZnO \rightarrow Zn(CH_3COO)_2 + H_2O\)

To prepare anhydrous Zinc Acetate, we firstly dry the dihydrate form by refluxing with toluene and then separate water using Dean-Stark Apparatus.

Applications of Zinc Acetate

  1. The compound has been used in lozenges for treating the common cold.
  2. It can also be used to treat zinc deficiencies it also plays a part in the treatment of Wilson’s disease.
  3. It is also used in everyday laboratory uses.


What is the formula for Zinc Acetate?

Zinc Acetate Formula
Anhydrous – \(Zn(CH_3COO)_2\)
Dihydrate – \(Zn(CH_3COO)_2 . 2H_2O\)

Zinc Acetate is ionic or covalent?

Zinc acetate (Zn(CH3CO2)2) is an ionic compound.

What are the uses of Zinc acetate?

It is used to treat and prevent zinc deficiency as zinc is essential for the growth and health of body tissues. It has been used in lozenges for treating the common cold. It is also used in a lot of everyday laboratory uses

More on Inorganic Compounds

Dinitrogen Trioxide (N2O3)Ammonium Persulfate ((NH4)2S2O8)
Chlorine Trifluoride (ClF3)Barium Carbonate (BaCO3)
Sodium Sulfate (Na2SO4)Barium Bromide (BaBr2)

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