Category: uses of zinc

Zinc: A Life Saving Commodity



The following content is sponsored by the Teck

Zinc: A Life Saving Commodity

Zinc is crucial for body growth, brain development, and helps fight dangerous infections, especially in children.

However, the reality is that millions around the world lack sufficient zinc in their diets in order to live healthy lives.

This graphic, sponsored by Teck, shows how zinc supplementation could save millions of lives.

Why Zinc?

Zinc is a nutrient that plays many vital roles in human life. In fact, zinc is the second-most-abundant trace mineral in our bodies—after iron—and is present in every cell.

The mineral is required for numerous processes in the body, including:

  • DNA creation
  • Cell growth
  • Protein building
  • Healing tissues
  • Supporting the immune system

Zinc is commonly added to some nasal sprays, lozenges, and other natural cold treatments.

The Challenge

Because the body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, we must obtain it through food or supplementation.

Fortunately, zinc is naturally found in a wide variety of both plant and animal foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, and nuts. We can also take zinc supplements or multi-vitamins which provide zinc. A diet that is too low in zinc however can cause several health issues.

Zinc deficiency affects 1.2 billion people worldwide today, according to UNICEF. In fact, one in four children are malnourished and at the risk of stunted growth and impaired development.

Furthermore, over half a million children die of diarrhea every year in developing countries in Asia and Africa, where clean drinking water, sanitation, and access (Read more...)

Understanding Zinc’s Role in a Low-Carbon Economy



The following content is sponsored by Teck

Understanding Zinc’s Role in a Low-Carbon Economy

Understanding Zinc’s Role in a Low-Carbon Economy

When asked to describe how the metal zinc is used, people often mention vitamins, sunscreen, or metal coating.

But few are aware of zinc’s applications in transportation, infrastructure, electronics, food security, and renewable energy.

This graphic by Teck shows how zinc is playing a key role in the low carbon economy.

Zinc, the Versatile Metal

Zinc is one of the most versatile and essential materials known to mankind. It is the fourth most used metal in the world behind iron, aluminum, and copper.

The primary use of zinc is in the galvanizing process, which protects iron and steel from rusting. Zinc coatings play a key role in public transportation and infrastructure by extending the life of steel used in bridge rails and support beams, railway tracks, and public transportation hubs and terminals.

Additionally, zinc can be alloyed with other metals and used for die-casting into shapes such as door handles, alloyed with copper to make brass, and alloyed with copper and sometimes other metals to make some types of bronze, like architectural bronze or commercial bronze.

Zinc in the Low Carbon Economy

Furthermore, zinc also has applications in energy storage. Zinc-carbon batteries were the first commercial dry batteries, providing a higher energy density at a lower cost than previously available cells.

Due to its growing role in energy storage and its superior ability to protect metals against corrosion, zinc remains an essential material for the future.

Zinc in the Energy Transition

(Read more...)

Zinc: The Essential, Sustainable, and Versatile Metal



The following content is sponsored by Trilogy Metals.

What would the world be like without zinc?

Long-running TV show The Simpsons showed us one depiction what this could look like—but in order to truly gauge the impact of the metal on our lives, we need a better understanding of the uses of zinc and its role in modern life.

Zinc’s Role in Modern Life

Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral that is present all around us: from our bodies, foods, and medicines to the buildings we live and work in. Despite this, very few people actually know how it gets there.

This infographic comes to us from Trilogy Metals and looks at the widespread uses of zinc in the modern economy, from construction and infrastructure to health, farming, and green energy.

The Zinc Supply Chain

Zinc is the fourth most used metal in the world behind iron, aluminum, and copper.

Before zinc makes it into its various applications, miners have to extract the metal from the ground. So which countries are the top producers of zinc?

CountryMined Zinc Production (2019, metric tons)Share of World Production (2019)
China4,300,00033%
Peru1,400,00011%
Australia1,300,00010%
Total7,000,00054%

China, Peru, and Australia account for 7 million tons or 54% of the world’s zinc production. Although the U.S. is among the world’s top five zinc producers, it only produced 780,000 metric tons of the silvery metal in 2019—roughly one-fifth of China’s zinc production.

We don’t (Read more...)