Element Poster by: Lezlie Hausmann
Where is it found in nature?
Uses of Platinum
Platinum is utilized in the chemicals industry as a catalyst for the production of nitric acid, silicone and benzene. It is also used as a catalyst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells.
Platinum is used considerably for jewelry. Its main use, however, is in catalytic converters for cars, trucks and buses. This accounts for about 50% of demand each year. Platinum is very effective at converting emissions from the vehicle’s engine into less harmful waste products.
The electronics industry uses platinum for computer hard disks and thermocouples.
Platinum is additionally used to make optical fibers and LCDs, turbine blades, spark plugs, pacemakers and dental fillings.
Platinum compounds are vital chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancers.
Characteristics of Platinum
Chemically, it's often described as a noble metal because it is so unreactive. It doesn't even react with oxygen in the air so it doesn't rust or tarnish. It's also reasonably resistant to attack from acids.