What is Platinum?

Platinum is a chemical element which is symbolized as Pt. The atomic number of platinum is 78, atomic weight is 195.23 whereas it falls between gold and iridium on the periodic table. The word platinum refers to the old Spanish word platina which means little silver. It naturally exists and found in the gold-bearing sand. This element is dense and elastic, also harder than gold and silver and it is very difficult to decompose platinum. Its color is grayish white while it never oxidizes at any level of temperature. Platinum only dissolves in hot aqua regia while hydrochloric acid and nitric acid are unable to dissolve it.

Uses of Platinum

The first use of platinum is for making jewelry. It is a precious metal which is used for making rings, bangles and other jewelry items of women. In modern era, most of the women prefer platinum over gold because it is hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant. Another reason for its likeness is its rarity. Specially the engagement rings, marriage rings or gift rings are designed by using platinum. The use of platinum is further beautified with the use of diamonds as the transparent color of diamonds suit the best with this precious metal.

The second usage of platinum is in the automobile engine where it is used in exhaust system as catalyst converter. This element transforms carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide and water before its emission from the engine. Thus it reduces the chances of pollution in the air. UNO is urging the car manufacturing industries to control the emission of dangerous gases to the environment so that global warming can be slowed down. This factor has further increased the importance and usage of this element.

The third usage of platinum is in coins which are minted in many countries to be used as investments. These coins are purely minted with platinum and measured at 1 ounce in size. Apart from that, platinum is also used in computer hard drives to enhance the storing capacity of the disk. The most important usage of platinum is the role of catalyst. It is useful for the production process of sulfuric acid. It also works as catalyst in machines which use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Last but not the least; platinum is also used in petroleum industry for cracking process. It is used for extracting gasoline from crude oil or black oil to make high octane fuels which are used in jets and other high speed engines.

October 2, 2012 | Mohsin Ali | No Comments | 935 views