How does platinum contribute to a greener planet and good health?
The majority of demand for platinum comes from applications that enhance the environment and human well-being.
Automotive: The largest demand source for platinum comes from applications in the automotive industry, namely autocatalysts that help reduce emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles. Platinum is also found in next generation vehicles, specifically fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) which along with battery electric vehicles (BEV) will form part of the future power matrix. FCEV technology is ideally suited to heavy-duty, long range and high utilization vehicles, such as busses, trucks, trains and even ships. Platinum is found in the fuel cell which converts hydrogen into electricity, with the only emission being water.
Medical: Platinum is also found in a variety of medical applications. This includes chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of cancer, medical devices such as pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, catheters, stents and hearing assist devices use platinum. Platinum enables devices to be engineered into high-precision micromachined parts that have exceptional qualities, such as biocompatibility, inertness within the body, durability and electrical conductivity.
Other Industrial: Platinum is also frequently used as a catalyst for several manufacturing processes including silicone bake ware, fertilizer and fiberglass. For silicone bake ware, platinum is used as the catalyst in the curing process of the silicone rubber, ensuring that it has high purity, is tear-resistant and has low toxicity. Platinum’s catalytic properties also convert ammonia to nitric acid, allowing for large-scale production of fertilizer, which uses a platinum-rhodium gauze catalyst. Fiberglass is being used to provide sustainable solutions in automotive to meet emissions standards and in construction, where it is used as an insulating material to reduce heat loss. High-quality glass components are also used for solar panels.