Cobalt sulfate appears as red monoclinic crystals that melt at 96.8°C and become anhydrous at 420°C. It is soluble in water, slightly soluble in ethanol, and especially soluble in methanol. It may be formed by the reaction of metallic cobalt, its oxide, hydroxide, or carbonate with sulfuric acid.
It is used the preparation of pigments, as well as in the manufacture of other cobalt salts. Cobalt pigment is used in porcelains and glass. Cobalt sulfate is used in storage batteries and electroplating baths, sympathetic inks, and as an additive to soils and animal feeds. In the past, cobalt sulfate was used to improve the stability of foam in beer and to treat some forms of anemia not responsive to other treatments.