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).

Platinum Component

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.