The vast majority of platinum production on earth comes from South Africa and Russia.
Platinum is silver-white-it was known as “white gold”-and it possesses a great number of useful properties, which explains its application inside a wide-range of industries.
It is exceedingly resistant to tarnishing and corrosion (which makes it generally known as a “noble metal”) which is very soft and malleable, so that it is easy to shape.
It is additionally ductile, turning it into easy to stretch into wire, and unreactive, which implies it doesn’t oxidize and is particularly unaffected by common acids.
Platinum is among the transition metals, a gaggle that includes gold, silver, copper and titanium-and almost all of the elements in the midst of the periodic table.
The atomic structure these metals means they are able to bond easily for some other elements. Platinum is normally known for being employed in the manufacturing of jewelry but its main applications spread to catalytic converters, electrical contacts, pacemakers, drugs and magnets.
Here are 10 interesting facts that you might not be familiar with platinum.
1. About fifty percent of cancer therapy patients currently use platinum-containing drugs and some of such drugs, for example cisplatin, will also be used to treat tumours and cancer in animals. Platinum is regarded as a biologically compatible metal as it’s non-toxic and stable, so that it does not react with, or negatively affect body tissues. Recent research has also shown platinum to inhibit the development of certain cancerous cells.
2. According to many analysts, platinum production is not likely to increase in long term. The majority (about eighty percent) of platinum is mined in South Africa. Approximately ten % is mined in Russia, along with the rest is present in North and South America. Because platinum along with Platinum Group Metals (PGM) metals usually aren’t seen in large amounts, they are generally by-products from mining metals. South African producers already have recovered platinum that is certainly close on the earth’s surface. Today, producers must dig far in to the earth’s crust for your metal. Deeper mining means higher production costs and fewer total manufacturing of the commodity.
3. Nearly half the platinum that may be mined is employed in catalytic converters, negligence the automobile that reduces toxic gases into less-toxic emissions. Platinum along with platinum metals can withstand the high temperatures required to the oxidation reactions that limit the emissions.
4. A cylindrical hunk of platinum and platinum alloy can be used as the international standard for measuring a kilogram. In the 1880s, about 40 these cylinders, which weigh about 2.2 lbs. or 1 kilogram, were distributed all over the world.
5. Platinum Group Metals or PGMs are some with the rarest metals seen on earth. There are two subgroups of PGMs: Palladium Group-Platinum Group Elements (PPGEs) and Iridium Group-Platinum Group Elements (IPGEs). The first group includes platinum, palladium, and rhodium. The second is made of iridium, osmium, and ruthenium. No PGMs tarnish plus they are highly proof against heat and chemical attack. They are all excellent conductors of electricity.
6. Objects that go back to around 700 BC have contained platinum. Other PGMs would not make their way on the scene prior to the nineteenth century. Malleable platinum, obtainable only upon purification to essentially pure metal, was initially produced with the French physicist P.F. Chabaneau in 1789; it absolutely was fabricated in a chalice that has been presented to Pope Pius VI. The discovery of palladium was claimed in 1802 from the English chemist William Wollaston, who named it with the asteroid Pallas. Wollaston subsequently claimed the discovery of some other element contained in platinum ore: rhodium. The discoveries of iridium (named after Iris, goddess from the rainbow, because with the variegated colour of their salts) and osmium (through the Greek word for “odour,” because on the chlorinelike odour of their volatile oxide) were claimed with the English chemist Smithson Tennant in 1803.
7. London could be the centre for platinum trading but physical delivery is likely to take put in place Zurich, Switzerland. The NYMEX division on the CME offers futures contracts on platinum. Each futures contract represents 50 ounces from the metal. The price of platinum tends to elevate and fall with global industrial conditions. The price of platinum peaked in 2008 at $2,300 per ounce prior to the global financial meltdown of 2008.
8. Unlike precious metals, which often can be readily isolated in the comparatively pure state by simple fire refining, the platinum metals require complex aqueous chemical processing with regards to isolation and identification. Because these techniques weren’t available till the turn with the 19th century, the identification and isolation in the platinum group lagged behind precious metals by millenia. In addition, the high melting points of such metals limited their applications until researchers devised means of consolidating and dealing platinum into useful forms.
9. The fashioning of platinum into fine jewellery began about 1900, but, of course this application remains important now, it turned out soon eclipsed by industrial uses. After the world war 2, the increase of molecular conversion techniques within the refining of petroleum designed a great demand to the catalytic properties with the platinum metals. This demand grew even more from the 1970s, when automotive emission standards inside the United States along with European countries ended in the by using platinum metals within the catalytic conversion of exhaust gases.
10. Extracting platinum is both capital and labour intensive. It can take as much as 6 months and 7 to 12 plenty of ore to generate one troy ounce (31.135g) of pure platinum. The first step with this process is always to crush platinum containing ore and immerse it in reagent containing water-a process generally known as ‘froth flotation’. During flotation, air is pumped throughout the ore-water slurry. Platinum particles chemically attach onto the oxygen and rise to your surface inside a froth that’s skimmed off for more refining. Once dried, the concentrated powder still contains below 1% platinum. It is then heated close to 2732F° (1500C°) in electric furnaces and air is blown through again, removing iron and sulphur impurities. Electrolytic and chemical techniques are widely used to extract nickel, copper and cobalt, resulting within a concentrate of 15-20% PGMs. Aqua regia (a concoction of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid) is accustomed to dissolve platinum metal in the mineral concentrate by creating chlorine that attaches to platinum to create chloroplatinic acid. In the final step, ammonium chloride is familiar with convert the chloroplatinic acid to ammonium hex chloroplatinate, that is burned to build pure platinum metal.
The very good news is that not all platinum is manufactured from primary sources on this long and expensive process. According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) statistics, about 30% in the 8.53 million ounces of platinum produced worldwide each year come from recycled sources. Platinum recycling helps promote and protect the long run use of an invaluable natural resource.
Platinum could be fenined in the most different sources:
-bars and ingots
-flakes and grain
-sponges and powder
-wire and gauze-crucibles
-laboratory and thermocouple wire
-aqua regia solutions.
Platinum refining terms are customized depending on the type and quantity on the platinum scrap you’ve got and the service which you will want.