Characteristics of platinum
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.
Areas of Application for Platinum
The greatest demand for platinum, 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.
The proportion of palladium is being reduced more and more in favour of platinum for economic reasons. Platinum catalysts are also used in the chemical and petrochemical industry. About a quarter of the annual demand for platinum goes to the jewellery industry.
In the future, fuel cell technology could be an important field of application. Platinum and iridium are needed as catalysts to produce emission-free and green hydrogen from wind or solar energy.
As a catalyst for fuel cells, platinum is best suited of all PGM metals.
Tangible Asset Platinum
Primary production can already no longer cover the forecast total demand of 216 tonnes. Any peaks in demand will be offset 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 the past decades was partly more expensive than gold, is currently considered historically undervalued.