Nickel sulfate is a speciality salt that is obtained in a controlled environment as a by product of copper refining. Another method of producing this compound is through the dissolution of nickel metal or other types of nickel oxides in a solution of sulfuric acid. The aqueous solutions of nickel sulfate can react powerfully with sodium carbonate in order to precipitate nickel carbonate, which is a precursor to most nickel based catalysts and industrial pigments.
The compound itself is most commonly utilized in laboratory environments, where columns of it are used in polyhistidine tagging. This is a process that is useful in biochemistry and formal molecular biology, An aqueous solutions of most related hydrates can react very well with ammonia in order to provide a calibrant that can be used for magnetic susceptibility measurements. The reason that this mixture can be utilized so well is because it has no immediate tendency to hydrate.