3 Unusual Uses for Zirconium Hydroxide

Zirconium hydroxide is an extremely versatile compound. Not only is Zr(OH)4 used in chemical research, it’s also a critical component in many commercial production processes, chemical refining, and even pollution control.

Here are three of the most unusual uses for zirconium hydroxide:

  1. As a catalyst.
    One of the most important uses of high-purity zirconium hydroxide powder is in the production of catalysts. Because they are so versatile, zirconium catalysts are suitable for a very wide variety of applications including automotive, pollution control, and even hydrocarbon reforming. The ZACA reaction (zirconium-catalyzed asymmetric carboalumination) is perhaps the best known of all of zirconium’s applications as a catalyst.
  2. As a raw material for commercial goods.
    Both zirconium hydroxide and zirconium carbonate are used as base materials for a wide variety of commercial products such as antiperspirants, leather tanners, inks, and paint dryers. The hydroxide compounds are also useful for the detection of carbon dioxide in the immediate environment. Relatedly, the compound is also touted for its ability to remove SOfrom streams of air at room temperature.
  3. As a nerve agent decontaminant.
    As a coating for innovative fabrics, Zr(OH)4 is incredibly useful for decontamination. Nanofibers coated with the compound show high efficiency against nerve agents such as diisopropylfluorophosphate and are thus being used in fields such as military and medical. Nanofiber-coated mats as well as clothing are currently being studied for their overall mitigation effects.


Noah Chemicals is a leader in the production of high-purity zirconium hydroxide powders. We work with chemical scientists and commercial manufacturers on solutions for various applications. High-purity chemicals in a variety of forms and amounts is our specialty; contact our chemists today to find out how we can help your project succeed.

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