[Xe] 4f145d96s1
2, 8, 18, 32, 17, 1
1768.2°C, 3214.8°F, 2041.4 K
3825°C, 6917°F, 4098 K
Known to native South Americans before Columbus, and taken to Europe around 1750
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Uses and Properties

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Platinum, renowned for its hypoallergenic nature, resistance to tarnish, status as one of the most robust precious metals globally, and exceptional durability, stands as an exemplar of enduring quality.


A shiny, silvery-white metal as resistant to corrosion as gold.


Platinum: Beyond Precious, Unveiling Its Multifaceted Uses

Platinum (Pt), often celebrated for its rarity and lustrous appearance in the world of jewelry, transcends its role as a symbol of opulence. This precious metal boasts a plethora of applications across diverse industries, contributing to advancements in technology, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. Join us as we delve into the multifaceted uses of platinum, uncovering the invaluable roles it plays beyond its glamorous portrayal in the jewelry showcase.


1. Catalysis: A Catalyst for Change

One of the most significant and widespread applications of platinum lies in catalysis. Platinum's remarkable catalytic properties make it a linchpin in various chemical processes, particularly in the automotive industry. As a catalyst in catalytic converters, platinum facilitates the conversion of harmful pollutants in vehicle exhaust into less harmful substances, significantly reducing air pollution and promoting environmental sustainability.


2. Automotive Excellence

Platinum's contributions to the automotive sector extend beyond catalytic converters. The metal is a key component in the manufacturing of spark plugs, where its high melting point and durability ensure consistent ignition and prolonged service life. Platinum-tipped spark plugs enhance engine performance, fuel efficiency, and overall reliability, making platinum an unsung hero under the hood.


3. Electronics: Powering the Digital Age

In the fast-paced world of electronics, platinum plays a crucial role in the production of various electronic components. Its high conductivity, corrosion resistance, and stability make it an ideal material for connectors, switches, and other components in electronic devices. Platinum's presence in these applications contributes to the seamless functionality and reliability of electronic gadgets that power our digital age.


4. Medical Marvel

The medical field benefits significantly from platinum's unique properties. Platinum-based drugs, such as cisplatin, have revolutionized cancer treatment. Cisplatin, widely used in chemotherapy, interferes with the DNA replication process in rapidly dividing cancer cells, inhibiting their growth. The use of platinum in medicine underscores its versatility and life-saving potential, showcasing its significance beyond the realms of luxury.


5. Glass Manufacturing: Clarity through Platinum

In the production of high-quality glass, platinum finds an unexpected but indispensable role. The metal's resistance to corrosion and high melting point make it an ideal material for the construction of glass-melting equipment. Platinum's use in glass manufacturing ensures the production of flawless, high-quality glass used in a myriad of applications, from laboratory equipment to optical lenses.


6. Hydrogen Fuel Cells: A Green Revolution

Platinum's potential in the pursuit of clean energy is exemplified in hydrogen fuel cells. As a catalyst in these cells, platinum facilitates the electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity. This green technology holds promise as an alternative to traditional combustion engines, providing a cleaner and more sustainable energy source for various applications, including transportation and stationary power generation.


7. Aerospace Advancements: Soaring to New Heights

Platinum's unique combination of properties, including its resistance to corrosion and high melting point, positions it as a vital material in aerospace applications. It is used in the construction of aircraft turbine engines, where its durability ensures the reliability and longevity of critical components. The aerospace industry relies on platinum for its ability to withstand the extreme conditions encountered during flight.


8. Precious Metal Investments: A Store of Value

While platinum is not limited to the practical realm, its role in the financial sector should not be overlooked. Platinum serves as an investment vehicle, appreciated for its rarity and intrinsic value. Investors and collectors alike recognize platinum's enduring appeal, acquiring coins and bars as a tangible store of wealth and a hedge against economic uncertainties.


9. Scientific Research and Laboratory Equipment: Unveiling the Invisible

In laboratories around the world, platinum plays an essential role in scientific research. Its use in laboratory equipment, such as crucibles and electrodes, showcases its stability and resistance to chemical reactions. Platinum's inert nature ensures accurate and uncontaminated experimentation, making it a cornerstone in scientific exploration across various disciplines.


10. Anti-Cancer Implants: A Platinum Touch to Healing

In addition to its role in chemotherapy, platinum has found application in the development of anti-cancer implants. In certain cases, platinum-based materials are used in implants to deliver targeted treatments directly to cancerous cells. This innovative approach minimizes side effects and enhances the efficacy of cancer treatments, marking another stride in the medical applications of platinum.



Platinum's allure extends far beyond the gleam of jewelry stores, encompassing a diverse range of industries that shape our modern world. From catalyzing environmental stewardship in the automotive sector to powering electronic devices and advancing medical treatments, platinum stands as a versatile and indispensable metal. As we navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving technological landscape, platinum's multifaceted uses underscore its enduring relevance in contributing to progress, innovation, and the betterment of society.


In the illustrious annals of elemental discovery, Platinum (Pt) emerges as a captivating and versatile metal that has left an indelible mark on human history. From its intriguing interactions with early civilizations to its prestigious role in contemporary industries, the history of Platinum is a gleaming chronicle that unfolds through epochs of elegance, exploration, and industrial significance.


1. The Ancient Allure

Platinum's allure is not a recent phenomenon; rather, it traces its roots back to ancient civilizations. Archeological evidence suggests that early South American cultures, including the indigenous people of Ecuador, were drawn to the lustrous appeal of Platinum. They adorned themselves with ornamental objects crafted from Platinum, showcasing an early appreciation for this precious metal's aesthetic qualities.


2. European Encounter and Misinterpretation

The European encounter with Platinum can be traced back to the 16th century when Spanish explorers, in their quest for new territories and treasures, stumbled upon the mysterious metal in South America. Initially perplexed by its resistance to corrosion and lack of reactivity, European settlers dismissed Platinum as an inferior form of silver or gold. The true value of Platinum remained hidden, awaiting the advancements in metallurgical understanding that would occur centuries later.


3. The Platinum Group Mystery

The 18th century witnessed a surge in scientific curiosity, and Platinum found itself under the analytical gaze of eminent chemists. Classified within the platinum group of metals, which also includes palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, Platinum posed intriguing challenges in terms of isolation and identification. The laborious efforts of chemists like Antonio de Ulloa and William Brownrigg in the mid-1700s marked the initial steps toward unraveling Platinum's mysteries.


4. Precious Metal Status

As scientific understanding of Platinum evolved, so did its status in the realm of precious metals. By the late 18th century, European jewelers recognized Platinum's unique properties, including its resistance to tarnish and hypoallergenic nature, elevating it to the status of a coveted and prestigious metal for crafting jewelry. Platinum's rarity and elegance soon made it a symbol of luxury and refinement.


5. Platinum in the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought forth a new era of technological innovation, and Platinum played a pivotal role in this transformative period. Its high melting point and resistance to corrosion made it a valuable material in various industrial applications, from the production of laboratory equipment to the development of chemical processes. Platinum's utility in catalysis and other industrial processes laid the foundation for its widespread application in the centuries to come.


6. The Platinum Rush

The 19th century witnessed a surge in interest in Platinum, driven by its newfound industrial significance. In the early 1800s, large Platinum deposits were discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, sparking what can be termed the "Platinum Rush." This influx of Platinum from Russia fueled its increasing use in various industries, including the production of weapons, electrical components, and scientific instruments.


7. Platinum in World War II: A Strategic Metal

During World War II, Platinum assumed strategic importance due to its unique properties. It found application in spark plugs for aircraft engines, catalytic converters for military vehicles, and various other military technologies. The demand for Platinum during this period underscored its irreplaceable role in advanced weaponry and technology.


8. The Modern Era: Catalyst for Change

As the 20th century progressed, Platinum continued to be a catalyst for technological advancements. Its catalytic properties became crucial in the development of catalytic converters for automobiles. This breakthrough significantly reduced harmful emissions, marking a pivotal moment in environmental sustainability and showcasing Platinum's role in shaping modern transportation.


9. The Rise of Platinum in Medicine

In the latter half of the 20th century, Platinum emerged as a potent force in the field of medicine. The discovery of cisplatin, a Platinum-based drug, revolutionized cancer treatment. Cisplatin's ability to interfere with the DNA replication process in cancer cells led to advancements in chemotherapy, offering new hope in the battle against cancer.


10. Platinum as an Investment: A Symbol of Wealth

Beyond its functional applications, Platinum has also secured a place in the world of investments. Platinum coins and bars have become coveted items among investors seeking a tangible store of wealth. Its rarity, coupled with its enduring elegance, positions Platinum as a symbol of prestige and wealth in the ever-changing landscape of financial markets.



From its ancient allure among South American civilizations to its pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution and modern technological advancements, the history of Platinum is a fascinating journey through elegance, exploration, and industrial significance. Platinum's gleaming legacy continues to unfold, shaping industries, advancing medical treatments, and symbolizing wealth and refinement. As we navigate the currents of the 21st century, Platinum stands as a testament to the enduring allure of precious metals and their profound impact on the course of human history.

Atomic Data

Atomic Radiues, Non-bonded (A): 2.13
Electron Affinity (kJ mol-1): 205.321
Covalent Radiues (A): 1.30
Electronegativity (Pauling Scale): 2.2
Ionisation Energies (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
864.393 1791.057 - - - - - -

Oxidation States and Isotopes

Common oxidation states 4, 2
Isotope Atomic Mass Natural Abundance Half Life Mode of Decay
190Pt 189.960 0.012 4.5 x 1011 y α
192Pt 191.961 0.782 - -
194Pt 193.963 32.86 - -
195Pt 194.965 33.78 - -
196Pt 195.965 25.21 - -
198Pt 197.968 7.356 - -

Supply Risk

Relative Supply Risk: 7.6
Crustal Abundance (ppm): 0.000037
Recycle Rate (%): >30
Production Conc.(%) : 60
Top 3 Producers:
1) South Africa
2) Russia
3) Zimbabwe
Top 3 Reserve Holders:
1) South Africa
2) Russia
3) USA
Substitutability: High
Political Stability of Top Producer: 44.3
Political Stability of Top Reserve Holder: 44.3

Pressure and Temperature Data

Specific Heat Capacity: 133
Shear Modulus: 61.0
Young Modulus: 168.0
Bulk Modulus: 228.0
Pressure 400k Pressure 600k Pressure 800k Pressure 1000k Pressure 1200k Pressure 1400k Pressure 1600k Pressure 1800k Pressure 2000k Pressure 2200k Pressure 2400k
- - - - - 2.34 x 10-8 1.14 x 10-5 0.00143 0.0689 0.153 228.0



Welcome Dear listeners, to another captivating episode of "Talking About Elements," the podcast that takes you on a journey through the captivating world of chemistry. Today, we're diving deep into the captivating element that has fascinated scientists and dazzled the world with its beauty and utility – Platinum.

Our exploration begins with a glimpse into the intriguing history of Platinum. This precious metal has a rich history that spans centuries. Its name is derived from the Spanish word "platina," which means "little silver," as it was initially mistaken for an impurity in gold by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

Platinum's true nature and value were eventually recognized, leading to its exploration and extraction in South America and later in other parts of the world. It quickly gained popularity among European royalty and was even used to create royal insignia and jewelry.

Platinum is renowned for its exceptional properties, which contribute to its widespread use and desirability. Platinum is one of the densest naturally occurring elements, with a density of approximately 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter, making it significantly denser than gold. Platinum boasts an extraordinarily high melting point of around 3,215 degrees Fahrenheit (1,768 degrees Celsius), which is crucial for its use in high-temperature applications. Platinum is highly resistant to corrosion, oxidation, and tarnishing, even at high temperatures. This property makes it incredibly durable and long-lasting. Platinum is a highly malleable and ductile metal, meaning it can be easily shaped into various forms, making it ideal for crafting intricate jewelry designs.

Platinum is relatively rare in the Earth's crust, with an average abundance of about 0.005 parts per million. It's typically found in association with other Platinum-group metals, such as palladium, rhodium, and iridium. Primary sources of Platinum include deposits in South Africa, Russia, and Canada.

The extraction of Platinum from its ores involves a complex process that includes crushing, milling, and chemical treatments to separate and refine the metal. Due to its rarity and the challenging extraction process, Platinum commands a high market value.

The production of Platinum typically begins with the mining of Platinum-containing ores. Once extracted, the ore is processed to obtain Platinum concentrate, which contains various Platinum-group metals. Further refining processes, including smelting and chemical separation, are employed to isolate and purify Platinum.

Platinum's exceptional properties make it indispensable in a wide range of applications. Platinum is highly prized in the jewelry industry due to its beauty, durability, and resistance to tarnish. It's often used to create engagement rings, necklaces, and other exquisite pieces. Platinum and its alloys serve as catalysts in numerous chemical reactions, including the catalytic converters in automobiles, which help reduce harmful emissions by converting pollutants into less harmful substances. Platinum is used in various electronic applications, including as electrical contacts and thermocouples due to its excellent conductivity and resistance to corrosion.

Platinum is employed in medical devices like pacemakers and stents due to its biocompatibility and resistance to corrosion within the human body.

Platinum plays a crucial role in fuel cells, where it facilitates the electrochemical conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and water. This technology holds promise for clean and efficient energy production.

Platinum's high melting point and resistance to corrosion make it ideal for use in the production of high-temperature glass melting equipment.

Platinum crucibles and other laboratory equipment are essential for high-temperature and corrosion-resistant experiments and chemical analyses.

In conclusion, Platinum is a marvel of nature, history, and science. From its discovery by Spanish explorers to its indispensable role in modern technologies, Platinum has earned its place as one of the most cherished and versatile elements in the periodic table.

As we continue our journey through the world of chemistry, let us remember the profound impact that even the smallest elements can have on our lives and the world around us. Platinum, with its beauty and utility, stands as a testament to the enduring allure and significance of the elements.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of Platinum. If you found this episode enlightening, please subscribe, share, and leave a review. Stay tuned for more episodes as we uncover the stories behind the elements that shape our world. Until next time, keep exploring and discovering the marvels of science.


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