Indispensable for Catalysts, Fuel Cells and Jewelry: Platinum
platinum as physical asset
The price development of platinum over the last five years.
Around 80 percent of global platinum production comes from South Africa. Mine production is expected to reach 195 tons in 2022. As the precious metal is so rare, recycling plays a major role: around 57 tons of platinum are expected to be recovered in 2022 by recycling autocatalysts. Primary production is already unable to meet the forecast total demand of 216 metric tons.
Peaks in demand will be met by recycled platinum alone. The World Platinum Council therefore speaks of a high supply risk. The German Raw Materials Agency also classifies the supply side as “critical”. The increasing shortage could mean an increase in the price of the raw material. Platinum, which in some cases has traded more expensively than gold in recent decades, is currently considered to be historically undervalued.
Managing Director Matthias Rüth (pictured) and Maximilian Vogler, Manager Private Customers, personally deal with questions and concerns from interested parties.
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properties of platinum
Platinum, from the Spanish word plata for “silver,” was first detected as a component in Egyptian jewelry dating back to 3000 BC. After iridium and osmium, it has the third highest density of all elements and a high melting and boiling temperature. This property makes it difficult to isolate and thus for a long time it was considered a mysterious, non-meltable metal. In the 18th century, it could be isolated for the first time as purified platinum powder. From then on, the triumph of the precious metal took its course.
applications of platinum
The greatest demand for Platin, at 43 percent of global consumption, comes from the automotive sector. Here, the ceramic hearts of the catalytic converters are coated with the precious metals platinum, palladium and rhodium, depending on the drive technology, in order to filter exhaust gases. For economic reasons, the proportion of palladium is being steadily reduced in favor of platinum. Platinum catalysts are also used in the chemical and petrochemical industries. About a quarter of the annual demand for platinum goes to the jewelry industry.
Fuel cell technology could be an important area of application in the future. To produce emission-free and green hydrogen from wind or solar energy, platinum and iridium are needed as catalysts.