The platinum group metals (PGM) comprise platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), iridium (Ir), osmium (Os), rhodium (Rh) and ruthenium (Ru). Of these, only palladium, platinum and to some extent, rhodium are commercially important. Platinum is a silvery grey metal, heavy than ductile and highly ductile. Its concentration in Earth's crust is about 5 parts per billion (ppb), by weight. Palladium (5 ppb) and rhodium (1ppb) are harder and lighter than platinum. All members of the group are generally highly resistant to corrosion and heat. The platinum group elements form a comprehensive range of platinum group minerals, including sulphides, arsenides, tellurides, alloys and native metals.
The proportion of platinum and palladium group metals used in various applications may vary significantly from year to year. This may be due to the fluctuations in the prices of two metals, and from region to region. In 2002, the primary uses of platinum, the world across, were in jewelry (43.27%) and auto catalysts (40%). While the jewelry proportion was higher in Japan (54%) and China, and auto catalysts use was higher in W. Europe (71%) and North America. Other applications were in chemical industry, primarily as a catalyst, electrical uses, glass and petroleum refining.
Palladium was mainly used in auto catalysts (64.4%), again with higher proportions in W. Europe (70%) and North America. Other applications were electronics (15%), dental use (16%), chemical industry and jewelry. Rhodium was primarily used in auto catalysts (98.7%). Some other uses were in chemical, glass and electrical industries.Types / Grades
Different grades, varieties and types of platinum group metals scrap is used to recover pure metal from the scrap. Given in the table below are some of the important grades / types of platinum group metals used in recycling -
Platinum Group Metals Scrap Recycling - Associations
- Bureau of International Recycling
- Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI)
- Curbside Value Partnership
- Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)
Platinum Group Metals Scrap Recycling - Publications
- Recycling International Magazine