Indispensable for Smartphones and Storage for Hydrogen: Palladium

PAlladium as physical asset

The price development of palladium, in per cent.

Market Situation

Almost 80 percent of the palladium mined worldwide comes from just two countries: South Africa and Russia. Since the pure palladium deposits are already largely exhausted, mining is concentrated on extraction together with main metals such as nickel, lead, copper or platinum.

Global mine production for 2022 is calculated at 220 tons. A further 90 tons are to be recovered via recycling, thus covering the expected annual demand of 310 tons. As demand has consistently outstripped supply in recent years, the market has reacted with enormous price increases.

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properties of palladium

Palladium was discovered in the early 19th century. It is the lightest and most redactive element of all precious metals. Palladium has the lowest melting point, is silvery-white shiny and has comparable properties to platinum. Therefore, it is often referred to as platinum’s little brother. However, it is tougher and harder, as well as more resistant and particularly color-fast.

applications of palladium

Palladium is often processed in the same industries as platinum. Like its “big brother,” it is an excellent catalyst for accelerating chemical reactions when finely divided. In addition to the electrical and medical industries, it is in particular demand from automotive manufacturers, to whom more than 80 percent of all palladium production flows. They need it for catalytic converters, which are mandatory in more and more countries such as China and India. In addition, many countries have already further tightened emission standards.

In the long term, palladium could be used in fuel cells as an electrode material and in the future hydrogen car as a storage material for hydrogen. Palladium could thus benefit from a possible fuel cell boom.