What Is the Oxidation Number for Zinc?

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The oxidation number for zinc is +2. When zinc becomes oxidized, it is called zinc oxide. When zinc oxidizes, the zinc atoms join with an oxygen atom creating the chemical formula ZnO and the oxidation causes zinc to crystallize into either a hexagonal or cubical shape.

The zinc oxide is industrialized to make rubbers, ceramics, and used in many different medications. ZnO is produced in several ways including smelting, laboratory synthesis, and wet chemical processing.

The most common ways to create the oxide is through smelting, which includes the direct or indirect processes. In the indirect process, zinc is melted at 907 degrees Celsius and vaporized, allowing it to bond with oxygen. The direct process takes zinc ores and reduces them before vaporization. This consequently creates a lower quality product since it uses zinc ore.