Platinum is a shiny, silvery precious metal which is particularly valued because of its high resistance to corrosion. Palladium is another precious metal with similar characteristics to platinum. They both belong to a group of metals called the “platinum metals” which includes also osmium, rhodium, indium, and ruthenium. Together with gold and silver, this group of metals belog to the wider family of “noble” metals because they do not react or interact with most other elements and compounds.
Over the years, there has been an increase in the demand for platinum and palladium in various business industries because of their many uses and applications. As the demand of these precious metals has increased, this has also led to an increase in their price.
The most common (or known) use of platinum is to make jewellery. In jewellery, platinum is often combined with gold to make a white gold alloy. This white gold is then worked into bracelets, rings, earrings and other forms of jewellery and is quite popular because of its corrosion resistant qualities.
Palladium and platinum are also commonly used in the automotive industry for the production of catalytic converters for engines. Catalytic converters help engines burn their fuels more efficiently thus lowering the toxic substances in the exhaust and lowering harmful emissions. Platinum is also applicable to other parts of an engine or automobile, for instance, it can be found in spark plugs and used in sensors.
In the extractive industry, platinum plays a very important role in the conversion of crude oil into other products like gasoline, kerosene, motor oil etc. Platinum is also used in addition with other elements to break down and rearrange molecules of crude oil into its resulting by-products.
Platinum has also seen an increase in its use and application in the chemical industry. It is commonly used as a catalyst for the production of chemical products like silicone, benzene, ammonia as well as nitric acid.
Platinum and palladium are also used in the electronics industry to make multilayer ceramic capacitors for electronic equipment like mobile phones, printers, computers and fax machines. It is also used to make magnetic coatings for digital storage devices as well as for making wires to be used in highly corrosive environments.
Because platinum can sometimes be found in compounds used in fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and plastic as well as in several consumer products, the demand from these industries has also dramatically increased.
Because of its chemical inactivity, platinum also has several applications in the health industry. It is used in producing artificial pacemakers for people with irregular heartbeat patterns as its high resistance to corrosion helps prevent it from getting destroyed inside the body. It is also used in dentistry to make gold alloys to be used for dental inlay and crowns.
As the industrial and consumer applications of platinum and palladium are so varied, these precious metals have seen a steady rise in both demand and price. Unfortunately the supply is limited, so it is now more important than ever to develop effective ways to recover or reclaim these precious metals from industrial waste.
At All Waste Matters we are specialist in refining platinum from a variety of different sources.
We can offer a completely free no obligation sampling and assaying service to ascertain your materials platinum content and suitability for recovery. Following on from this, we can advise on the best extraction technique we can offer - be it by using chemical recovery or by smelting in temperatures of over 1200 C to remove impurities and unwanted materials.
Choosing All Waste Matters as your platinum refinery partner, you can rest assured that your PGM scrap is handled by our expert team in keeping with and in most cases exceeding recommended guidelines.
Resources from: www.allwastematters.co.uk