Platinum is a group ten element with 78 electrons and 117 neutrons; it has the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. With six energy levels, Platinum's electron shell structure is 188.8.131.52.17.1.
Platinum is classified as a transition metal in the periodic table and is also part of the platinoids group (PGM) along with osmium, palladium, iridium, rhodium and ruthenium. It only has six naturally occurring isotopes. Platinum is remarkably resistant to corrosion, even at extreme temperatures; for this reason, it is considered a noble metal and the least reactive metal. It can, however, be corroded by alkalis, sulfur, cyanides and halogens. Platinum is a non-toxic, soft, dense, silvery white precious metal with an attractive, lustrous sheen. It is ductile and malleable and has a high melting point.
It is often used as a catalyst for chemical reactions. Its main use is in the catalytic converters of automobiles. Platinum effectively converts unburned hydrocarbon emissions into less harmful waste products. Alloys of cobalt and platinum are used in the production of strong permanent magnets. Platinum is extensively used in the jewelry industry.
Platinum is a rare metal that is found in alluvial deposits. Another major source is the sperrylite ore. Commercially produced platinum is prepared as a by-product of nickel and copper refining.