Only one precious metal could conceivably rank above gold when classifying valuable metals. You guessed it right; it’s platinum. It is a scarce metal, making it more expensive. Jewlery and pollution control (catalytic converters) are the two principal applications of this metal.
Its limited usage is mainly attributable to the metal’s historical scarcity. It was first used on the Casket of Thebes in Egyptian Civilizations. Indigenous peoples of South America also utilized it for jewellery. However, the white metal has value beyond that of a precious metal because of its unique properties, which have made it crucial to the contemporary economy and increased the world’s wealth and wellness.
Industrial Applications of the Metal
Apart from the demand for investments, it has four main uses:
- Renewable electricity
Let’s dig a little bit more into each of these situations.
Since 1980, the demand for the metal in question has increased fourfold due to its versatility in production. In particular, its effectiveness in transforming ammonia into nitric acid cemented the method of manufacturing fertilisers on a large scale. Its catalytic characteristics are essential for the production of fertilisers.
One hundred ninety million tonnes of fertiliser are generated annually, utilising around 90% of the nitrogen generated with these catalysts.
2. Medical Care
Due to its stability and non-toxicity, this metal is compatible with living beings. It is the perfect material for medical instruments because it does not interact adversely with or affect the body’s cells. It was first used in medical equipment in 1874 for arthroscopy tools. And due to its resilience, it is also perfect for implantable devices and hearing aids today.
While not harmful to healthy tissue, this white metal’s compounds, such as cisplatin, can kill cancerous cells and cure various types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, breast, and bladder cancer. Due to these vital applications, the World Health Organization has added cisplatin to its essential medicines.
It is an essential component of energy-efficient fibreglass. As a critical element in the battle for cleaner air, it lowers the emission of toxic wastes lending itself to catalytic converters in the exhausts of gas-powered cars. It is also used to produce luxury glass, increasing heating effectiveness in residences and workplaces.
4. Renewable Power
The metal is essential for clearing up air pollution, creating renewable hydrogen, and unlocking the potential of fuel cells due to its catalytic characteristics. The best outcomes are achieved when an electric current is run through the white metal electrodes during electrolysis, which can transform water into hydrogen and oxygen. As such, a new series of emission-free cars run on fuel cells, which use membranes made from the metal in question.
What Led to the Recent Increase in Demand for This Metal?
After a decade of low pricing and underinvestment in mine equipment, the supply of the metal is constricted, and any significant increase in production is at least three years away.
This metal is predicted to see a significant demand increase in the short to long term as a palladium replacement in automotive catalysts. It is significantly undervalued compared to its precious metal counterpart, gold, and its one-to-one commercial metal replacement, palladium.
More Than Valuable
It is more than just a precious metal, as it has numerous applications that will make it an essential commodity in the coming years. It is both a rare element and an economical metal. And this year, automobile and other industrial applications are estimated to account for more than 65% of platinum consumption.
In terms of investment, the white metal’s cost is highly correlated with the gold’s price, providing similar diversification advantages to a portfolio while also acting as a hedge against monetary system and interest rate variations and a value store. This metal is a solid asset that, like gold and other metals, has been in high demand recently due to the excessive fluctuation of many stocks.