- Chemistry Notes for UPSC IAS Prelims (Part II)
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Chemistry - Platinum
Platinum is a malleable, ductile, dense, and highly unreactive chemical element.
The symbol of platinum is ‘Pt’ and its atomic number is ‘78.’
The name of platinum is derived from a Spanish term i.e. ‘platina,’ which means "little silver."
Platinum is the most precious and the rarest metal (element) on the earth.
Salient Features of Platinum
Following are the important features of the platinum −
Platinum is a silver white metal.
Platinum is an element of group 10 of the periodic table.
Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the crust of the earth.
Platinum is one of the least reactive elements.
Platinum has six natural isotopes.
Platinum is one of the most highly valuable and precious metals.
Platinum is characteristically resists corrosion in all conditions. Because of this reason, it is considered as noble metal.
Platinum is normally insoluble in nitric and hydrochloric acid, but dissolves in hot aqua regia.
After dissolving into the hot aqua regia, platinum gives aqueous chloroplatinic acid (see the image given below).
Occurrence of Platinum
Platinum is commonly found as the native (natural) platinum and as alloy with the other platinum-group.
Platinum usually occurs in the ores of nickel and copper.
Platinum also occurs naturally in the alluvial sands (commonly found in rivers).
Platinum occurs with the concentration of only (about) 0.005 ppm in the Earth's crust.
Alloys of Platinum
Platinum-iridium is one of the most significant alloys of platinum.
Compounds of Platinum
Following are the major compounds of platinum −
Platinum (II) chloride - Pt Cl2
Platinum (IV) chloride - PtCl4
Adam’s catalyst - PtO2
Platinum hexafluoride - PtF6
Potassium tetrachloropla - K2PtCl4
Krogmann’s salt - K2Pt(CN)4Br
Chloroplatinic acid - H2PtCl6
Sodium hexachloropl - Na2PtCl6
Aqua regia - HNO3+3HCl
Uses of Platinum
Platinum is used largely for vehicle emissions control devices.
Platinum is used in petroleum refining and many other chemical productions.
Platinum is used in electronic devices, such as in hard disk (drives).
Platinum is also used in jewelry.
Apart from all these usages, platinum is also used in medicine (anti-cancer drugs), glassmaking equipment, electrodes, turbine engines, investment, etc.