What is platinum used for?


Quick Answer

According to The Royal Society of Chemistry, platinum is mainly used inside catalytic converters in cars, trucks, and buses. Platinum is also used for electrical components, thermocouple elements, corrosion-resistance apparatuses and dentistry. Platinum is used extensively for jewelry, manufactured into metal gauzes for nitric acid production and as a catalyst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. In medicine, platinum compounds are important for chemotherapy.

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Full Answer

In 2010, 245 tons of platinum were sold. Of the platinum sold, 113 tons were used for vehicle emissions control devices, 76 tons for jewelry and 35.5 tons went to further the advancement other applications, such as investment, electrodes, anticancer drugs, oxygen sensors, spark plugs and turbine engines. Platinum is used as an alloy agent for various metal products, including fine wires, non-corrosive laboratory containers, medicinal instruments, dental prostheses, electrical contacts and thermocouples. Platinum-cobalt is used to make strong permanent magnets. Platinum-based anodes are used in ships, pipelines and steel piers.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, platinum is also important as a catalyst in synthetic organic chemistry. It is also used as a catalyst in the form of gauze for the partial oxidation of ammonia to yield nitric oxide in fertilizers, explosives and nitric acid.

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