Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Berillium,.. Well, memorizing the long list of elements in the periodic table might be common to you, especially science students. But how well do you actually understand what you’re memorizing all this time? Do you know what is the usage, characteristic of the elements that you learned in high school?
Sometimes you’re not only have to remember someone’s name but also their face, characteristic, even their biodata. The same goes for chemistry. You’ll truly cherish and love it when you understand it fully, including the practical example on your everyday live.
You might want to read : Uses of Germanium in Everyday Life
Palladium, this transition metal elements from the group 10 period 5 might not be so common for you. In this article, we will discuss more about this elements. From its basic characteristic, physical appearance, and especially its common uses in our everyday life.
Palladium History Sneak Peek
Palladium, Pd number 46 was discovered in 1803, far before the world war even occur by the English chemist and physicist, William Hyde Wollaston. It is named after the asteroid Pallas, the epithet of Greek goddess Athena. Athena got that epithet after she killed Pallas, the princess of Triton. William Hyde was the only supplier of cheaper chemical products with qualities as gold in England.
During this chemical analysis in the process of purifying platinum, he discover this transition elements, palladium as well as Rhodium that has Interesting Characteristics and Uses of Rhodium the following year.
Characteristic of Palladium
This silvery-white metal called Palladium have similar chemical properties to the platinum group metals, but it’s the least dense and has the lowest melting point. Among the group 10, it’s also quite unique and different. Unlike the other elements such as niobium, ruthenium, its valence shell has eighteen electrons.
Physically, it’s soft, malleable, and ductile just like gold, yet harden when cold-worked. Palladium doesn’t react nor tarnish with oxygen in standard temperature. It will only tarnish when the air is moist and contains sulfur. It’s also resistance to corrosion.
Most Common Uses of Palladium
These list of palladium uses might be something new for you, you might never realize that is is actually so close to our everyday life. Here are few of the palladium uses that you should know :
- Catalystic converters for automobiles
Catalyst is a substance that accelerates a chemical reaction without getting affected itself. In this case, palladium can speeds up hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, and petroleum cracking. It is an excellent electrocatalyst when dispersed on c onductive materials. The most common use of palladium as catalytic converters are for automobiles and other engine equipped machines. It’s not the only option, but in fact it is the cheapest and the most effective one. It can also produces cleaner exhaust.
- Synthetic biology catalyst
According to its catalytic properties, palladium is also used in synthetic biology as an effective in vivo catalytic activity that was demonstrated in mammals to treat disease.
- Hydrogen Storage
By the characteristic, you can know its uses. That applies well in this case. We know that Palladium has the ability to absorb hydrogen up to 900 times its volume. It absorbs hydrogen and forms palladium hyrdride (PdH). Although it absorb greatly, it doesn’t lose its ductility easily. That’s why it’s an efficient, inexpensive way to store and filter hydrogen in a safe way.
Yes here’s most common uses of palladium, this might be the most common use that you can see in everyday life. It turns out that this element appears in your belt buckle, ring, necklace, even crowns. Palladium alloyed with gold will make white gold without requiring rhodium plating, since palladium itself is white. There might be the other white gold such as nickel and silver. But in spite of being more expensive than nickel-gold, palladium-gold’s the least one to cause allergic reactions. That’s why it’s considered popular as white gold
The laptop you’re using to work? The cellphone you’re holding while reading this article? Don’t you know you’re holding ‘palladium’ ? The other palladium famous uses in electronics is in multilayer ceramics capacitors. In this case, palladium take role as the electrodes. It is also used for connector plating in a lot of electronic products. The layers of palladium can be found in between ceramics.
- Long lasting photograph
Palladium still has some other ruses that will surprise you. After appearing in your jewelry, even in your electronic products, now it shows itself in your photograph. Beside the Uses of Platinum in Everyday Life , platinum can also work along with palladium in this case. Palladium salts along with platinum is being used in the platinotype printing to make fine black-and-white prints. This type of printing is known for their matte appearance and long lasting qualities.
A big fan of gummy bears? Ever going through the drill and fill several times but then end up unrepaired anymore? You might need crown and bridge restoration now. Palladium is being used as the alloys since it’s more economic than gold or platinum.It also has a good solubility with other materials. More over, we know that it has a great resistance over tarnish or corrosion. Remember the color of palladium? White, just as how your teeth should be.
- Blood sugar test strips
- Surgical instruments
- Carbon monoxide detectors
That’s all about most common uses of palladium. Read also : Uses of Rubidium in Everyday Life
Don’t ever forget, every single elements on the periodic table has their own characteristic, as well as their own precautions. They might be dangerous and hazardous to us, human, or even the environment if we don’t pay enough attention to their precautions. They might give you Signs of Overexposure to Hazardous Chemicals . Some can be corrosive, flammable, toxic, and so on. But thankfully, you can breathe slightly easier when it comes to palladium.
It’s known as one of the chemical elements with low toxicity. If you unintentionally ingest this chemical elements, your body absorbs it poorly. Although in high doses, it might not be safe enough and carcinogenic, there aren’t any clear evidence yet. However, allergic reactions to palladium has been reported. Better avoid the use of dental alloys that contain palladium if you’re allergic to nickel and palladium.
To the environment, high doses of this elements might kill plants such as water hyacinth. But most of the other plants can tolerate it well. No matter how safe it seems, we still shouldn’t swallow metal, we should take care of ourselves well when it comes to chemical elements.