Palladium was isolated in 1803 by the chemist William Hyde Wollaston. In 1804 it was named after the asteroid Pallas, which was discovered in 1802. Palladium is a noble, durable, malleable and ductile metal, electrically and thermally medium conductive. Palladium occurs especially pure, even though it always occurs mixed with other precious metal. Palladium dissolves in aqua regia as well as in concentrated nitric acid. Palladium is malleable and it’s colored white.
Extraction of palladium
Palladium is mined primarily in Siberia, Russia. More than half of the world production of palladium comes from Russia. Next greater miner is Canada, where palladium appears in small percentage during extraction of nickel and copper.
The use of palladium
Palladium is mainly used in the production of industrial catalysts and as a part of alloys for dental and jewelry application.
Palladium is also used as a part of alloys for the manufacture of jewelry, especially for so called white gold. The largest use found for palladium is in the chemical industry, where it is used in various forms as a very efficient catalyst for organic syntheses. Palladium is together with platinum used in car’s catalysts, too. It’s needed there to liquidate undesirable substances, such as unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide from the exhaust gases.
Palladium is also trade as an investment metal, like gold, silver or platinum.
The first coins of palladium were minted in Russia after the First World War, but they weren’t successful at all. However those coins are very prized nowadays.
Graph of palladium prices: