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  • Platinum is an element with the atomic number 78 and an atomic mass of 195 in the periodic table. It is an extremely rare element found in the crust of the earth.
  • The word Platinum is derived from Platina (Spanish word meaning ‘little silver’), because of its grey-white silvery colour. With availability of 5 g/kg in the earth’s crust, it is one of the rarest elements and is highly valuable for the same reason. Although it was discovered relatively later by European scientists, it has been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1200 BC.

Uses of Platinum

  • It is used in laboratories for electrodes.
  • Optical fibres, wires, and pacemakers also make use of platinum for better efficiency.
  • Certain compounds of platinum are used in chemotherapy for treating cancer.
  • Some watchmakers use platinum in their watches to make them exclusive.
  • Because of its stable physical and chemical properties, platinum metal is a very useful metal. Despite its rarity, its application is quite widespread.
  • Because of its high stability, platinum is used extensively as a catalyst for chemical reactions.
  • The most common application of this is the Catalytic Converter in cars which converts the Carbon monoxide (CO) and other residual pollutants into Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour.
  • The high malleability, ductility, and inertness of the metal make it suitable for making jewellery especially. Around half of the platinum extracted every year goes into making jewellery.
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