Periodic Table > Platinum
 

Terminology


Allotropes
Some elements exist in several different structural forms, these are called allotropes.


For more information on Murray Robertson’s image see Uses/Interesting Facts below.

 

Fact Box Terminology


Group
Elements appear in columns or ‘groups’ in the periodic table. Members of a group typically have similar properties and electron configurations in their outer shell.


Period
Elements are laid out into rows or ‘periods’ so that similar chemical behaviour is observed in columns.


Block
Elements are organised into blocks by the orbital type in which the outer electrons are found. These blocks are named for the characteristic spectra they produce: sharp, principal, diffuse, and fundamental.


Atomic Number
The number of protons in the nucleus.


Atomic Radius/non -bonded (Å)
based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties, for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.


Electron Configuration
The arrangements of electrons above the last (closed shell) noble gas.


Isotopes
Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes.


Melting Point (oC)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Melting Point (K)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Melting Point (oF)
The temperature at which the solid-liquid phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (oC)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (K)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Boiling Point (oF)
The temperature at which the liquid-gas phase change occurs.


Sublimation
Elements that do not possess a liquid phase at atmospheric pressure (1 atm) are described as going through a sublimation process.


Density (kgm-3)
Density is the weight of a substance that would fill 1 m3 (at 298 K unless otherwise stated).


Relative Atomic Mass
The mass of an atom relative to that of Carbon-12. This is approximately the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Where more than one isotope exists the value given is the abundance weighted average.


Key Isotopes (% abundance)
An element must by definition have a fixed number of protons in its nucleus, and as such has a fixed atomic number, however variants of an element can exist with differing numbers of neutrons, and hence a different atomic masses (e.g. 12C has 6 protons and 6 neutrons and 13C has 6 protons and 7 neutrons).


CAS number
The Chemical Abstracts Service registry number is a unique identifier of a particular chemical, designed to prevent confusion arising from different languages and naming systems (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).

Fact Box

 
Group 10  Melting point 1768.2 oC, 3214.76 oF, 2041.35 K 
Period Boiling point 3825 oC, 6917 oF, 4098.15 K 
Block Density (kg m-3) 21450 
Atomic number 78  Relative atomic mass 195.084  
State at room temperature Solid  Key isotopes 195Pt 
Electron configuration [Xe] 4f145d96s1  CAS number 7440-06-4 
ChemSpider ID 22381 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database
 

Interesting Facts terminology


Image Explanation

Murray Robertson is the artist behind the images which make up Visual Elements. This is where the artist explains his interpretation of the element and the science behind the picture.


Natural Abundance

Where this element is most commonly found in nature.


Biological Roles

The elements role within the body of humans, animals and plants. Also functionality in medical advancements both today and years ago.


Appearance

The description of the element in its natural form.

Uses / Interesting Facts

 
Image explanation
Imagery based on Mayan character glyphs. The Mayans used Platinum in jewellery.
Appearance
A silvery metal as resistant to corrosion and tarnishing as gold. It is almost as rare and consequently is likewise highly valued and used in jewellery. It is also used in the chemicals industry as a catalyst, in medicine as an anti-cancer drug, and in catalytic converters for car exhausts.
Source

Uses
Platinum is used extensively for jewellery, but its main use - accounting for about 50% of demand each year - is inside catalytic convertors on cars, trucks and buses. Platinum is very effective at converting emissions from the vehicle's engine into less harmful waste products. It is also used for electrical components, thermocouple elements, corrosion-resisitence apparatus and in dentistry. Platinum is manaufactured into metal gauzes for the production of nitric acid and is also used as a cataylst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. Platinum compounds are important chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancers.
Biological role
Platinum has no known biological role, and is non-toxic.
Natural abundance
Platinum is found uncombined in alluvial deposits, and prepared commercially as a by-product of nickel refining from copper-nickel ores.
 
Atomic Data Terminology

Atomic radius/non -bonded (Å)
Based on Van der Waals forces (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). These values were calculated using a multitude of methods including crystallographic data, gas kinetic collision cross sections, critical densities, liquid state properties,for more details please refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.


Electron affinity (kJ mol-1)
The energy released when an additional electron is attached to the neutral atom and a negative ion is formed (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). *


Electronegativity (Pauling scale)
The degree to which an atom attracts electrons towards itself, expressed on a relative scale as a function bond dissociation energies, Ed in eV. χA - χB =(eV)-1/2sqrt(Ed(AB)-[Ed(AA)+Ed(BB)]/2), with χH set as 2.2 (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).


1st Ionisation energy (kJ mol-1)
The minimum energy required to remove an electron from a neutral atom in its ground state (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope).


Covalent radius (Å)
The size of the atom within a covalent bond, given for typical oxidation number and coordination (where several isotopes exist, a value is presented for the most prevalent isotope). ***

Atomic Data

 
Atomic radius, non-bonded (Å) 2.130 Covalent radius (Å) 1.3
Electron affinity (kJ mol-1) 205.321 Electronegativity
(Pauling scale)
2.200
Ionisation energies
(kJ mol-1)
 
1st
864.382
2nd
1791.056
3rd
-
4th
-
5th
-
6th
-
7th
-
8th
-
 

Mining/Sourcing Information

Data for this section of the data page has been provided by the British Geological Survey. To review the full report please click here or please look at their website here.


Key for numbers generated


Governance indicators

1 (low) = 0 to 2

2 (medium-low) = 3 to 4

3 (medium) = 5 to 6

4 (medium-high) = 7 to 8

5 (high) = 9


Reserve base distribution

1 (low) = 0 to 30 %

2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 %

3 (medium) = 45 to 60 %

4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 %

5 (high) = 75 %

(Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, Be, As, Na, S, In, Cl, Ca and Ge are allocated a score of 2 since reserve base information is unavailable. Reserve base data are also unavailable for coal; however, reserve data for 2008 are available from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).)


Production Concentration

1 (low) = 0 to 30 %

2 (medium-low) = 30 to 45 %

3 (medium) = 45 to 60 %

4 (medium-high) = 60 to 75 %

5 (high) = 75 %


Crustal Abundance

1 (low) = 100 to 1000 ppm

2 (medium-low) =10 to 100 ppm

3 (medium) = 1 to 10 ppm

4 (medium-high) = 0.1 to 1 ppm

5 (high) = 0.1 ppm

(Where data are unavailable an arbitrary score of 2 was allocated. For example, He is allocated a score of 2 since crustal abundance data is unavailable.)


Explanations for terminology


Crustal Abundance (ppm)

The abundance of an element in the Earth's crust in parts-per-million (ppm) i.e. The number of atoms of this element per 1 million atoms of crust.


Sourced

The country with the largest reserve base.


Reserve Base Distribution

This is a measure of the spread of future supplies, recording the percentage of a known resource likely to be available in the intermediate future (reserve base) located in the top three countries.


Production Concentrations

This reports the percentage of an element produced in the top three countries. The higher the value, the larger risk there is to supply.


Total Governance Factor

The World Bank produces a global percentile rank of political stability. The scoring system is given below, and the values for all three production countries were summed.


Relative Supply Risk Index

The Crustal Abundance, Reserve Base Distribution, Production Concentration and Governance Factor scores are summed and then divided by 2, to provide an overall Relative Supply Risk Index.

Supply Risk

 
Scarcity factor 8.5
Country with largest reserve base South Africa
Crustal abundance (ppm) 3.7E-05
Leading producer South Africa
Reserve base distribution (%) 87.50
Production concentration (%) 58.80
Total governance factor(production) 7
Top 3 countries (mined)
  • 1) South Africa
  • 2) Russia
  • 3) USA
Top 3 countries (production)
  • 1) South Africa
  • 2) Russia
  • 3) USA
 

Oxidation states/ Isotopes


Key for Isotopes


Half Life
  y years
  d days
  h hours
  m minutes
  s seconds
Mode of decay
  α alpha particle emission
  β negative beta (electron) emission
  β+ positron emission
  EC orbital electron capture
  sf spontaneous fission
  ββ double beta emission
  ECEC double orbital electron capture

Terminology


Common Oxidation states
The oxidation state of an atom is a measure of the degree of oxidation of an atom. It is defined as being the charge that an atom would have if all bonds were ionic. Free atoms have an oxidation state of 0, and the sum of oxidation numbers within a substance must equal the overall charge.


Important Oxidation states
The most common oxidation states of an element in its compounds.


Isotopes
Elements are defined by the number of protons in its centre (nucleus), whilst the number of neutrons present can vary. The variations in the number of neutrons will create elements of different mass which are known as isotopes.

Oxidation States / Isotopes

 
Common oxidation states 4, 2
Isotopes Isotope Atomic mass Natural abundance (%) Half life Mode of decay
  190Pt 189.96 0.014 4.5 x 1011 α 
  192Pt 191.961 0.782
  194Pt 193.963 32.967
  195Pt 194.965 33.832
  196Pt 195.965 25.242
  198Pt 197.968 7.163
 

Pressure and Temperature - Advanced Terminology


Molar Heat Capacity (J mol-1 K-1)

Molar heat capacity is the energy required to heat a mole of a substance by 1 K.


Young's modulus (GPa)

Young's modulus is a measure of the stiffness of a substance, that is, it provides a measure of how difficult it is to extend a material, with a value given by the ratio of tensile strength to tensile strain.


Shear modulus (GPa)

The shear modulus of a material is a measure of how difficult it is to deform a material, and is given by the ratio of the shear stress to the shear strain.


Bulk modulus (GPa)

The bulk modulus is a measure of how difficult to compress a substance. Given by the ratio of the pressure on a body to the fractional decrease in volume.


Vapour Pressure (Pa)

Vapour pressure is the measure of the propensity of a substance to evaporate. It is defined as the equilibrium pressure exerted by the gas produced above a substance in a closed system.

Pressure / Temperature - Advanced

 
Molar heat capacity
(J mol-1 K-1)
25.86 Young's modulus (GPa) 168
Shear modulus (GPa) 61 Bulk modulus (GPa) 228
Vapour pressure  
Temperature (K)
400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
Pressure (Pa)
- - - - - 2.34
x 10-8
1.14
x 10-5
1.43
x 10-3
6.89
x 10-2
0.15 1.59
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History

Probably the oldest worked specimen of platinum is that from an ancient Egyptian casket of the 7th century BC, unearthed at Thebes and dedicated to Queen Shapenapit. Otherwise this metal was unknown in Europe and Asia for the next two millennia, although on the Pacific coast of South America, there were people able to work platinum, as shown by burial goods dating back 2000 years.


In 1557 an Italian scholar, Julius Scaliger, wrote of a metal from Spanish Central America that could not be made to melt and was no doubt platinum. Then, in 1735, Antonio Ulloa encountered this curious metal, but as he returned to Europe his ship was captured by the Royal Navy and he ended up in London. There, members of the Royal Society were most interested to hear about the new metal, and by the 1750s, platinum was being reported and discussed throughout Europe.

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Podcasts

Listen to Platinum Podcast
Transcript :

Chemistry in Its Element - Platinum


  (Promo)

 

You're listening to Chemistry in its element brought to you by Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry

(End promo)

 

Chris Smith

Hello - blonde hair, expensive jewellery, a new generation of catalysts and anti cancer drugs plus a mistake that cost the Spanish conquistadors very dear.   Have you spotted the connection yet?   If not, here's Katherine Haxton.

 

Katherine Haxton   

Platinum as a metal speaks of prestige, value and power.   An album has gone platinum, platinum wedding anniversaries, and highly prized platinum jewellery such as rings and Rolex watches.  

 

Platinum is a very different substance to a chemist. Platinum metal is silvery white and does not oxidise, properties that make it highly appealing for jewellery.   It is more precious than silver but with prices more volatile than gold.   Platinum has broad chemical resistance although the metal may be dissolved in aqua regia, a highly acidic mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, forming chloroplatinic acid, and has an extremely high melting point in excess of two thousand degrees centigrade.

 

Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century viewed platinum as a nuisance, a white metal obtained while panning for gold and difficult to separate from the gold.   It was named Platina, a diminutive of Plata, the Spanish word for silver.   Platina was believed to be unripe gold, and was flung back into the rivers in the hope that it would continue to mature into gold.   There is anecdotal evidence of gold mines being abandoned due to platinum contamination.

 

Platinum's properties allowed it to defy identification and classification until the 18th century.   Its high melting point and broad chemical resistance meant that obtaining a pure sample of the metal was difficult.   Platinum's place as a precious metal was first established in the 18th century by Henrik Sheffer, who succeeded in melting or fusing platinum by adding arsenic.      Three chemists, Lavoisier, Seguin and Musnier began working together in the late 18th century to improve the design of their furnaces to enable platinum to be melted without the need of fluxes such as arsenic.   The French Chemist Lavoisier wrote for help from Josiah Wedgewood, the founder of Wedgewood pottery, asking for a clay that could be used to manufacture vessels that could withstand the high temperatures needed to melt platinum.   Seguin later requested details of which fuel could burn sufficiently hot enough, and for further details on creating the hottest flame possible.   Lavoisier succeeded in melting platinum using oxygen to enhance the heat of the furnace   but it would still be many years before a process could be found to produce commercial quantities.   Of course, that was prior to Lavoisier's beheading at the height of the French Revolution in 1794.   In 1792 the French Academy of Science obtained a supply of platinum from Marc-Etienne Janety, a master goldsmith in Paris.   Janety had managed to develop a means of producing workable platinum using arsenic, and a way to remove the arsenic afterwards with limited success.  It is ironic that the very properties that make platinum metal so desirable caused so many difficulties for its discoverers.   King Louis XVI of France believed that platinum metal was only fit for Kings, due in part to the difficulties in working with pure samples.

  

In 1859, a method for melting up to 15 kilograms of platinum using a furnace lined with lime and oxygen and coal gas as fuel was described by Deville and Debray.   The 19th century also saw the development of the first fuel cell using platinum electrodes.   Fuel cells produce electricity through electrochemical reactions, often using platinum as non-reactive electrodes, and represent an important area of research into environmentally friendly technologies and cleaner, greener sources of energy today.   The very properties of platinum that had made it so hard to work with became valued and platinum was used for lab equipment,  and other applications where its broad chemical resistance was required.   Johnson Matthey perfected the techniques of separating and refining the platinum group metals and in 1879 Matthey produced a standard metre measure made of a platinum and iridium alloy.

 

Platinum compounds have been well documented, perhaps none more so than cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II), cisplatin.   In the early 1960s, Barnett Rosenberg was conducting experiments on bacteria, measuring the effects of electrical currents on cell growth.   It was observed that the E.coli bacteria were abnormally long during the experiment, something that could not be attributed to the electric current.   Further investigation revealed a number of platinum compounds were being formed due to reaction of the buffer and platinum electrode and subsequent characterization of these compounds isolated cisplatin.   Cisplatin was found to inhibit cell division thus causing the elongation of the bacteria, and was tested in mice for anticancer properties.   This was at the height of a push for new cures for cancer, and screening programs for novel chemotherapy agents.   Initial experiments failed due to too high a dose but finally evidence was obtained for cisplatin.   Cisplatin today is widely used to treat epithelial malignancies with outstanding results in the treatment of testicular cancers.   Cisplatin is a remarkable tale of serendipity in science research and a wonderful example of how major breakthroughs cannot be commanded.   The success of cisplatin has spawned a search for new platinum anticancer compounds that has produced oxaliplatin and carboplatin to date with several other compounds at various stages of development.    Platinum's chemical legacy goes far beyond medicinal chemistry.

 

In the last 50 years platinum catalysts have become widespread in industry, used to enhance the octane number of gasoline, and manufacturing primary feedstocks for the plastics industry.   Platinum plays a significant role in many of the manufactured goods we rely on today.   The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded, in 2007, to Gerhard Ertl who's work included a study of oxidation of carbon monoxide on platinum surfaces.   Platinum group metals are also components of many autocatalysts, converting car exhaust gases in to less harmful substance.  

 

And our fascination with platinum as a rare and robust metal continues.   The term 'platinum blond' came about in the 1930's when actresses with platinum jewellery were the stars of newly invented talking pictures.    The sinking of the Titanic inspired public displays of mourning, including a new fashion for black and white jewellery.   Platinum metal became popular in such pieces due to its pale colour. More recently it was the metal of choice for the wedding bands of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and remains synonymous with quality and wealth today.  

 

Chris Smith

 

Amazing to think that the Spanish colonists were throwing the stuff away.   That was Keele University's Katherine Haxton with the story of Platinum.   Next week it's time to relive your schooldays.

 

Brian Clegg

If there were a competition for the chemical element mostly likely to generate schoolboy howlers, the winner would be germanium. It's inevitable that the substance with atomic number 32 is quite often described as a flowering plant with the common name cranesbill. Just one letter differentiates the flower geranium from the element germanium - an easy enough mistake.

You may like to say it with flowers and give someone a gift of a geranium - but you're more likely to communicate down a modern fibre optic phone line, and then it's germanium all the way. 

 

Chris Smith

Indeed, and you can download Brian Clegg's tale of germanium, probably via a fibre optic too, because he'll be here next week for Chemistry in its Element.   I'm Chris Smith, thank you for listening and goodbye.

 

(Promo)

 

Chemistry in its elementis brought to you by the Royal Society of Chemistry and produced by thenakedscientists dot com. There's more information and other episodes of Chemistry in its element on our website at chemistryworld dot org forward slash elements. 

 

(End promo)

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References

 
Images:  Visual Elements © Murray Robertson 2011
Mining and Sourcing data:  British Geological Survey – natural environment research council.
Text:  John Emsley Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2011.
Additional information for platinum, gold, neodymium and dysprosium obtained from Material Value Consultancy Ltd www.matvalue.com
Data: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press, 92nd Edition, 2011.
G. W. C. Kaye and T. H. Laby Tables of Physical and Chemical Constants, Longman, 16th Edition, 1995.
Members of the RSC can access these books through our library.