Nickel Oxide and Chemical Nickel: what is the relevance between the two?

Nickel oxide (NiO) and chemical nickel plating are both related to the use of nickel, but they serve different purposes and operate in different manners.

nickel oxide

Nickel oxide (NiO):

It is a chemical compound consisting of nickel and oxygen.

It has several applications, including the manufacture of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, ceramics, specialty glass, and as a catalyst in some chemical reactions.

It is not directly used in the nickel plating process, but may be involved in the production of precursors of nickel compounds used in such processes.

Chemical Nickel Plating:

Chemical nickel plating is a process used to deposit a thin layer of nickel on an object. This process, unlike galvanic nickel plating, does not require electric current; instead, it relies on an autocatalytic chemical reaction.

In the process of chemical nickel plating, a solution containing nickel ions is chemically reduced on the surface of the object to be treated, thus depositing a layer of nickel.

This layer offers corrosion protection, increases wear resistance, and can also be used to improve the aesthetic appearance of the object.

Relationship between Nickel Oxide (NiO) and chemical nickel plating:

Although not a direct reagent or product in the typical chemical nickel plating process, knowledge and technologies related to nickel chemistry, including those concerning Nio, can influence the development and improvement of nickel plating processes. For example, understanding the chemistry of NiO can help optimize the preparation and handling of nickel solutions used in nickel plating. In addition, some processes may require the reduction of nickel compounds such as NiO to generate the active nickel species needed for nickel plating.

However, in daily practice and industrial applications, NiO and chemical nickel plating are seen as two distinct areas with different applications and purposes.


(NiO) is a chemical compound that plays a significant role in various industries due to its unique properties and diverse applications. In this article, we will explore in detail what this oxide is, where it is used, when it is most beneficial to employ it, and why it is so crucial in many applications. We will also discover practical examples and answer common questions about this versatile material.

What is Nickel Oxide?

It is a chemical compound formed by nickel and oxygen, with the chemical formula NiO. This oxide is known for its stability and is often used in many applications due to its unique chemical and physical properties.

Properties of Nickel Oxide

It has several properties that make it valuable in many industrial and technological applications:

Electrical conductivity: It is an electrical conductor, making it suitable for use in electronic components.

Thermal stability: It maintains its structural integrity even at high temperatures, making it ideal for high-temperature applications.

Chemical stability: It is resistant to many corrosive chemicals, making it an ideal material for protective coatings and chemical applications.

Color: Can impart specific colors to glass ceramics and other materials.

Where Is Nickel Oxide Used?

Nickel oxide finds use in various industries and applications:

1. Electronics

The electronics industry is a major user of nickel oxide. It is used in:

Nickel Resistors: Nickel oxide is used in nickel resistors, where its electrical behavior is critical in regulating electric current.

Capacitors: Finds use in capacitors, helping to store and release electrical energy.

Potentiometers: In electronic potentiometers, nickel oxide is an essential component for adjusting electrical resistance.

2. Glass ceramic

Nickel oxide is used to produce special colors in glass ceramics. These materials find application in:

Dishes and Tableware: Glass ceramics colored with nickel oxide are used to create uniquely designed dishes and tableware.

Decorative Glasses: They are used to create interior and exterior decorative glass.

3. Batteries

Although nickel-cadmium batteries are in decline, they have played an important role in the past, and nickel oxide is a key component in these batteries. Ni-Cd batteries have been used in:

Consumer Electronics: Nickel-cadmium batteries were common in portable electronic devices such as cell phones and camcorders.

4. Catalysts

Nickel oxide is used as a catalyst in some chemical reactions. For example, it is used in the production of hydrogen through the process of methane reforming.

5. Ceramic Materials

In some advanced ceramic materials, nickel oxide is incorporated to improve thermal and mechanical properties. These materials are used in high-temperature applications, such as aircraft engine components.

6. Refractory Materials

Nickel oxides are used in the production of high temperature and wear-resistant refractory materials, such as in industrial furnaces and casting applications.

7. Chemical Analysis

Nickel oxide can be used as a reagent or indicator in some chemical analyses.

8. Welding Glass

In some soldering processes, nickel oxide can be added to glass used to seal joints or components, contributing to the airtight seal.

When is it Advantageous to Use Nickel Oxide?

Nickel oxide is advantageous in several situations, particularly when some of its unique properties are required:

Corrosion Resistance: Due to its chemical stability, nickel oxide is ideal for applications in corrosive or moisture-exposed environments.

Electrical Conductivity: In electronic applications, nickel oxide is chosen for its excellent electrical conductivity.

High Temperature Applications: Nickel oxide maintains its structural integrity at high temperatures, making it suitable for high-temperature applications such as aircraft engines and industrial furnaces.

Custom Color: When it is necessary to impart specific colors to glass or ceramics, nickel oxide is the ideal choice.

Catalyst: In chemical reactions that require an effective catalyst, nickel oxide can be an advantageous solution.

Practical Examples

To better understand how nickel oxide is used in practice, here are some concrete examples:

Example 1: Nickel Resistance

In nickel resistors used in electronic devices, it is present on the surface of the resistive material. This NiO layer regulates the electrical resistivity of the component, allowing the electrical current through the resistor to be controlled.

Example 2: Colored Glass Ceramic

In the glass-ceramics industry, NiO is added to the composition to achieve specific colors. For example, it can impart a green or black color to glass and ceramics, thus creating distinctive products.

Example 3: Ni-Cd Batteries

Although in decline, nickel-cadmium batteries have been used in the past in portable devices such as cell phones. It plays a key role in the chemical reaction inside the battery, generating electricity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the chemical formula of nickel oxide?

The chemical formula is NiO, which represents the combination of nickel (Ni) and oxygen (O).

2. What are the main applications ?

Major applications include the electronics industry, production of glass-ceramics, nickel-cadmium batteries, chemical catalysts, advanced ceramic materials, refractory materials, chemical analysis, and welding glass.

3. What are the key properties of nickel oxide?

Key properties include electrical conductivity, thermal stability, chemical stability and the ability to impart colors to materials such as glass-ceramics.

4. In which industries is the use of NiO most common?

It is commonly used in the electronics, ceramics, battery, chemical and refractory materials industries.

5. What are the advantages of nickel oxide over other materials?

The disadvantages compared to other materials are its toxicity and higher cost than some alternative materials. However, it is still used in specific applications where its unique properties are needed.


It is a versatile chemical compound that finds use in many industrial and technological applications due to its unique properties. From its usefulness in the electronics industry to the production of special glass-ceramic colors, it plays a crucial role in several industries. Its chemical stability, electrical conductivity and resistance to high temperatures make it a valuable material that will continue to influence many industrial fields in the future.