Zink, with the chemical symbol Zn, is an essential trace element and simultaneously a versatile metal. It was first isolated in the 17th century in India and China, but systematic research was later conducted by the German chemist Andreas Marggraf in the 18th century.
On Earth, zinc is relatively abundant, constituting about 0.0075% of the Earth's crust. It occurs in various minerals such as sphalerite and smithsonite. Zinc is known for its corrosion resistance and is often used as a coating for iron and steel products. Zinc finds wide application in many sectors. It is a key element in the production of alloys, especially brass, and is used in batteries, protective coatings, as well as in the chemical industry. In the future, innovative applications in nanotechnology and as a component of advanced materials could play a role.
Zinc also plays a crucial role in the human body and is an essential component of enzymes. Possible future applications could involve the development of zinc-based medicines and biotechnologies to address health issues.