Do you know which is the heaviest of precious metals, having twice the weight of gold? It is platinum, a soft precious metal that is silvery-white in colour and has a lustrous sheen. It is a non-toxic metal. Along with having a high melting point, it is also the least reactive metal. These characteristics and its stability with chemical properties make this a valuable metal in various ways. Even at high temperatures, it has mind-blowing corrosion resistance, which is why it is a noble metal. It is wear and tear-resistant and tarnish-resistant, ideal for jewellery making. It is an unreactive metal that is highly dense and ductile. This is a scarce metal that occurs at a low concentration in the Earth’s Crust. Platinum is found in deposits of alluvial and is sometimes mistaken for silver. Purification of raw Platinum can be done using a material called aqua regia. It has several uses, some of which are listed below.
1. Automobile catalyst: This metal is used in the catalytic converter, which is a part of the exhaust system in the automobile. Catalysts help convert harmful emissions like hydrocarbons, monoxides, etc., into water and barminess of carbon dioxide. Most of the mined form of this metal is used for this. It is also become demanding for environmental safety purposes.
2: Petroleum industry: This metal has exceptional catalytic properties crucial for the petroleum industry. The gauze of this metal is used in oil refineries in cracking processes. The catalysts help in the extraction of gasoline from crude oil. It is also used for making high octane fuels.
3. Jewelry: The jewellery made from platinum has high prices that affect purchases. It is a precious metal and is famous for its purity, beauty, and properties. The colour, strength, tarnish resistance, and hardness benefits this metal as jewellery. Its beauty can be enhanced by adding diamonds and gemstones. It is known to be a flexible metal, which helps jewellery designers.
4. Hard discs: The demand for this metal will increase with personal computers in the future. The hard disk is where data is stored in a computer, and each drive has one or more disks for data storage. The hard disk drive and fibre optic cables are made using this metal. The strength of the magnetic field decides the amount of data that can be stored. This metal can be added to achieve this. It is becoming very crucial with the tech-savvy world these days.
5. Chemical: This metal is used in explosives and fertilizers as a catalyst for converting ammonia to nitric acid. It is also used in the fuel sector as an additive for petrol to enhance combustion and engine emissions. It is used as a catalyst for producing biodegradable detergents for the home.
6. Medicine: This metal is also used to make anti-cancer drugs and medical implants. It is also used in alloys for dental restorations.
7. Fuel cells: Proton exchange membrane fuel cell is made using this metal as a catalyst. This is used for powering automobiles and power generation for buildings.
8. Investments: This metal can also be a great investment option and an ideal way of hedging assets against inflation. This is becoming a worldwide investment scheme.
9. Glass: Glassmaking equipment is also made using this metal. It is used in making the fibreglass plastic of glass for LCDs.