What is the most valuable metal? Visaya Weekly Episode 20

Hey guys German here from Visaya! What’s valuable? a car? A fancy hotel? What about Love? I love you guys but I will marry only once, and when I do I will give my finance something precious, a ring, a ring made of from silver? Gold? What about Platinum?

Platinum is one of the most expensive metals you can find today in the market, today you can get 1 kilogram of platinum for around 27 thousand euros! But why is so damn expensive?

Well, first of all, is one rarer elements on earth,  80% of this metal is found in South Africa and you need to process 1 ton of mineral to get between 5 to 7 grams of platinum.

But what really makes this element shine are its properties. First of all, it is highly malleable and ductile, this makes it perfect to make jewelry, additionally, it does not react with oxygen so it will keep its silver-white color for ages. Is actually so stable that the standard prototypes for the kilogram and meter are made with platinum-iridium bars.  

Standard Kg and Meter Platinum
Courtesy EE Times and Wikipedia

Platinum has one property that makes it even cooler! Platinum is used as a catalyst,  used in the Petrochemical and chemical industries in various process, for example, is used in catalytic reforming that transforms straight-run naphthas into higher-octane gasoline.

Gasoline, that then is used in cars, here platinum has a crucial role, It’s used in catalytic converters in cars in order to break down some of the more harmful byproducts of automobile exhaust.

Today more than 50 percent of the platinum produced per year is used for catalytic purposes, But this is a really rare metal, so potentially we could have a limit of how many cars we will be able to produce.

Even if we are able to recycle platinum from old cars and reformers there will still be a limit, and even if not everyone believes in climate change we still need to keep the rising temperatures in check.

Trump Platinim
Courtesy of Giphy

Talking about temperature, Platinum is used in the most common industrial temperature sensor. The RTD (resistance temperature detector) A Thin layer of platinum is deposited on a ceramic substrate and its resistance is measured,  the most common sensor used is the Pt100 [Platinum RTD with 100 Ω  @ 0 ℃]

The resistance varies with temperature changes, this variation than can be measured and translated into a temperature value using a temperature transmitter.

There is a limitation for RTDs for industrial applications of around that exceed the 600 degrees Celsius. Above this temperature, Thermocouples are used for industrial temperature measurement.

And guess what here platinum again is used for applications that exceed 1100 degrees Celcius, thanks to its high melting point [Tm=1768.3 °C,] and thermal stability, platinum thermocouples are used in high-temperature applications like furnaces, glass, and metal production.

So it seems we will end this video where it stated.

Platinum is one of the most valuable elements used in processes, instruments and as symbol love in hands everywhere.


Recommended articles