Platinum and the periodic table
Chemical elements are the atomic building blocks of the universe, playing a vital role in our daily lives. By using the periodic table, elements can be grouped into particular families that have similar characteristics.
Platinum and its sister metals are one such family of elements within the periodic table. Clustered together, these elements are all ‘transition’ metals in groups eight, nine and ten, and periods five and six, adjacent to the other precious metals, gold and silver.
Transition metals are generally hard and dense, and less reactive than the alkali metals. They also have catalytic properties and are good conductors of heat and electricity.
As the data on the periodic table shows, the PGMs share many properties and are used, either individually or in combination as alloys, in a multitude of applications from autocatalysts to fertiliser production, glass making, cloud computing and even cancer treatments.