Platinum is a precious metal and represented with the platinum symbol, Pt. The word Platinum comes from the Spanish word "Platina." Platina means Silver. It is one of the rarest elements found in the earth's crust with an estimated abundance of 5 μg/kg. Platinum can conduct electricity. Platinum, along with rhodium, palladium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium, forms a group of elements called the platinum group metals (PGM). If you are wondering Who discovered Platinum, it was discovered by Antonio de Ulloa in 1735.

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Platinum Atomic Number

Platinum element belongs to group 10 of the periodic table of elements. Platinum is one of the transition metals. The atomic number of Platinum is 78, and the atomic mass of Platinum is 195.094 g/mol. The platinum melting point is 1768.3° C, and the Boiling point is 3825 ° C. It is solid at room temperature.

Platinum also has some health effects. If spilled on the skin, they can cause rashes and irritation. If inhaled, it can cause Shortness of breath, sneezing, and irritation in the nose. Platinum as a metal won't cause major health issues, but Platinum salt is very dangerous. It may cause cancer, hearing problems, organ damage like intestine and kidney, etc. 

Electronic Configuration of Platinum

If we follow the Afbau principle the electronic configuration of Pt will be 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6d10 4s2p6d10f14 5s2p6d8 6s2 but Pt have an exception. But a rule of thumb says, half filled shells are more stable.So in that case Pt will have an electronic configuration of 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6d10 4s2p6d10f14 5s2p6d9 6s1. Most common oxidation states of the Platinum are +2 and +4. +1 and +3 are very less common. 

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Platinum Properties

Physical Properties:

  • Platinum is heavy, soft, malleable, and ductile.

  • It is stable at high temperatures, and has excellent resistance against corrosion.

  • Platinum is the second most ductile metal after gold. 

  • Platinum is one of the densest metal with a density of 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter.

Chemical Properties:

  • Platinum is regarded as the noble metal, which makes it chemically stable.

  • It doesn't get tarnished in the air because it doesn't react with the oxygen present in the air.

  • It is also resistant to acid attacks.

  • It is corroded by halogens, cyanides, sulfur, and alkalis.

  • Platinum absorbs high quantities of Hydrogen gas at high temperatures, just like a sponge soaks water, which is an unusual property of Platinum.

  • Platinum shows a strong tendency to form complex ions. The most common one is Pt(I), which is having a planar structure and is diamagnetic.

Uses of Platinum

  • Platinum is used for jewelry because it is chemically unreactive and soft.

  • It is used in dental fillings and surgical tools because of its unreactivity.

  • Platinum is used in lasers and in the making of photographic materials.

  • The metal is used as catalysts for improving the efficiency of fuel cells.

  • Platinum is used in coatings of razors.

  • An alloy of Platinum, along with Cobalt, is used for making strong permanent magnets.

  • It is used as catalysts in the production of Nitric acid, Benzene, and Silicone.

Production of Platinum Metal

Platinum Ores:

Platinum is usually extracted from Sperrylite and Cooperite, the two Platinum containing ore. It is also found in the native state as well.

How is It Extracted?

  1. The ore is crushed, and the Froth-Flotation process is done. During Flotation, the air is passed through the ore-water mixture, also called Slurry. The Platinum particle is chemically attached to the oxygen rise up to the surface in a froth, and then it is skimmed off for refining it further. 

  2. In the next step, it is dried up and then heated up to 1500° C in an electric furnace, and then air is blown through it to remove iron and Sulfur impurities. 

  3. Aqua regia is then used to dissolve platinum metal from the mineral concentrate by creating chlorine that attaches to Platinum to form chloroplatinic acid. 

  4. Finally, the ammonium chloride is used to change the chloroplatinic acid to ammonium hexachloroplatinate, which can then be burned to develop the pure platinum metal.

Fun Facts About Platinum

  1. The extraction of Platinum is a very intensive process in terms of capital and labor. For the production of barely 31 g of Pure Platinum, we need 7 to 11 tons of Platinum ore and time of around six months.

  2. Platinum and Platinum alloys were used to make Platinum hunk, which is used as an international standard for measuring a Kilogram. This cylinder weighs about 1 Kg (2.2 lbs).

  3. Platinum is the least reactive metal known to humankind.

  4. Even a 1 g of Platinum can stretch into a 2000 meter long wire.

  5. Platinum is widely used as the catalyst in the chemical reaction. 

  6. There are 6 naturally occurring isotopes of Platinum, 190Pt (0.01%), 192Pt (0.78%), 194Pt (33.0%), 195Pt (33.8%), 196Pt (25.2%) and 198Pt (7.2%).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can We Dissolve Platinum in Aqua Regia?

Ans: Due to the chemical inertness of Platinum it is not attacked by Acids. But the Platinum is readily soluble in Aqua Regia, a mixture of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acid in a ratio of 1:3. Both the acids are concentrated, which makes it a highly volatile mixture. This volatile nature is the main reason behind the dissolution of noble metal. Noble metals like Gold, Palladium, Platinum are soluble in Aqua Regia but are not soluble in either acid alone. Aqua regia dissolves the metal by first oxidising them.

                                                HNO3 + HCl = NOCl +H2O + [ Cl ]

                                                     Pt +4[Cl] = PtCl4

                                                PtCl4 + 2HCl = H2[PtCl6]           (chloroplatinic acid)

2. What is the Difference Between the Platinum and White Gold?

  • Platinum is 40% denser than White Gold. 

  • Platinum is 30 times rarer than White Gold. 

  • Platinum is much  harder and stronger than White Gold. 

  • If continuous scratching takes place on both metals, White Gold will lose weight, whereas Platinum will not lose any weight. 

  • Over time white Gold loses its white color and becomes yellowish in color, whereas in Platinum, no such things take place. 

  • Chemically they are very different. 

  • White gold is an alloy of nickel and silver. 

  • Nickel, the key component of the White Gold alloy, causes allergy to some people, whereas platinum is a hypoallergenic metal which does not cause any allergy.