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Facts about Palladium

Palladium was discovered in 1803 and considered as rarer than platinum and gold. We usually don’t see it as a pure precious metal because it’s mostly mixed with white gold to give it a unique color. The name indicated that it has something to do with platinum. It is one of the six elements that are related to it. To scientists, they are mostly known for their catalyst properties and the ability to make chemical reactions happen faster.

There are ways to buy it in pure form if you want to make an investment. Through history, there were many artifacts made out of it like Palladium coins. The price is higher than platinum and almost the same as gold, but will change depending on the demand of the market. It is estimated that the price will rise as the need to it grows.

Palladium Characteristics

Palladium is a very interesting element when we compare it to platinum. The atomic number is 46 and the symbol is Pd. It has more stable isotopes than platinum and overall it has 29 isotopes. It has a higher melting point that is around 2800 degrees or 1550 degrees Celsius. The boiling point is around 5300 degrees or 2950 degrees Celsius. The average atomic weight is 106.4 and the density is around 12g per cubic centimeter.

We are still trying to implement it in new technologies, but it is mostly used in catalytic converters. Even this role is very important to the environment because it breaks down all the bad gases produced by cars and makes them into less dangerous substances. There is the use of it in dentistry and purification, but mostly we can see it on jewelry.

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Precious Metal

Shortly after discovering palladium, William Hyde Wollaston discovered rhodium. He did it by dissolving platinum in a mix of hydrochloric and nitric acid. He didn’t report this at the beginning, so he tried to sell it to a London mineral dealer. Because it was hard to determine new findings, Richard Chenevix tried to declare it as a hoax, but in 1805 Royal Society of London was introduced to Palladium.

It got the name from the second largest asteroid named Pallas and that asteroid got the name after Pallas Athena, a Greek goddess. A very important advantage over silver is that it won’t tarnish in the air which is crucial for jewelers besides the look. It can be a real challenge to find this rare element. When you combine all six elements of the platinum group, you will end up with 0.0005% of Earth’s crust. They are mostly found when magma cools in the ore deposits.

Interesting Facts

According to the USGS, United States import about 90% of all elements in the platinum group. The most amazing ability of palladium is that it can absorb almost 900 times its volume of hydrogen. It is used for hydrogen filtration because of this ability. There is a photo printing method of using palladium and platinum salts named platinotyping.

Even if it isn’t that available to the general public, there are cases of allergic reactions to palladium. You have a higher risk of irritation from palladium if you are allergic to nickel which is very interesting. Some of the people from Marvel did their study when making the story of Iron Man. They said that the arc reactor that gives him the power is slowly poisoning him because of the palladium in it. It is true that it can be toxic to the body. There were studies that showed that inorganic palladium decreased blood pressure and heart rate.

Research we Have Today

In the past years, there were many new places discovered that had palladium located there. Brown University researchers reported a way to use nanoparticles of palladium that are cheaper for catalyst in the devices. They actually created particles that are 4.5 nanometers in diameter that stay intact 4 times longer than ones we have available now.

A very interesting study involved using palladium-gold nanoparticles to make a catalytic converter for water rather than exhaust. Related to this study, scientists created a prototype that filters water through a system that uses almost 2 meters columns of gold and palladium nanoparticles that should remove bad chemicals.