AskDefine | Define palladium

Dictionary Definition

palladium n : a silver-white metallic element of the platinum group that resembles platinum; occurs in some copper and nickel ores; does not tarnish at ordinary temperatures and is used (alloyed with gold) in jewelry [syn: Pd, atomic number 46]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Palladium


Etymology 1

The sense of "safeguard" comes from Palladium (the image of Pallas that protected Troy), from sc=Grek, from sc=Grek, an alternative name for Athena.


  1. A safeguard .
a safeguard

Etymology 2

The element was named after w:Pallas, an asteroid that had been discovered two years before the element.


  1. A metallic chemical element (symbol Pd) with an atomic number of 46.

External links

For etymology and more information refer to: (A lot of the translations were taken from that site with permission from the author)



  1. palladium

Extensive Definition

Palladium (pronounced \pe-‘lä-dē-em\) is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal that was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who named it palladium after the asteroid Pallas, which in turn, was named after the epithet of the goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slew the giant Pallas. The symbol for palladium is Pd, and its atomic number is 46.
Palladium, along with platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). PGMs share similar chemical properties, but palladium is unique in that it has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of these precious metals. Incredibly, when palladium is at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen, which makes palladium an efficient and safe storage medium for hydrogen and hydrogen isotopes. Palladium is also tarnish resistant, electrically stable and resistant to chemical erosion as well as intense heat.
The unique properties of palladium and other PGMs account for their widespread use. One in four goods manufactured today either contain PGMs or had PGMs play a key role during their manufacturing process. Over half of the supply of palladium and its sister metal platinum goes into catalytic converters, which convert up to 90% of harmful gases from auto exhaust (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide) into less harmful substances (nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor). Palladium’s precious metal qualities and appearance generate significant consumption in the luxury jewelry market. Palladium is found in many electronics including computers, mobile phones, multi-layer ceramic capacitors, component plating, low voltage electrical contacts, and SED/OLED/LCD televisions. Palladium is also used in dentistry, medicine, hydrogen purification, chemical applications, groundwater treatment, and it plays a key role in the technology used for fuel cells, which combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water.
Palladium bullion has ISO currency codes of XPD and 964. Palladium is one of only four metals to have such codes, the others being gold, silver and platinum.
Ore deposits of palladium and other PGMs are rare, and the most extensive deposits have been found in the norite belt of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in the Transvaal in South Africa, the Stillwater Complex in Montana, USA, the Sudbury District of Ontario, Canada, and the Norilsk Complex in Russia. In addition to mining, recycling is also a source of palladium, mostly from scrapped catalytic converters. The numerous applications and limited supply sources of palladium result in palladium drawing considerable investment interest.


Palladium was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston in 1803. This element was named by Wollaston in 1804 after the asteroid Pallas, which had been discovered two years earlier. because the export quota was not granted on time, due to political reasons. The ensuing market panic buying drove the palladium price to an all-time high of $1100 per ounce, reached in January, 2001. During the time period, the Ford Motor Company, fearing auto vehicle production disruption due to a possible palladium shortage, stockpiled large amounts of the metal, purchased near the price high. As prices subsequently fell in early 2001, Ford lost nearly $1 billion U.S. dollars.
World demand for palladium increased from 100 tons in 1990 to nearly 300 tons in 2000. The global production from mines was 222 metric tons in 2006 according to USGS data. Most palladium is used for catalytic converters in the automobile industry.


In 2005, Russia was the top producer of palladium, with at least 50% world share, followed by South Africa, USA and Canada, reports the British Geological Survey.
Palladium may be found as a free metal alloyed with gold and other platinum group metals in placer deposits of the Ural Mountains, Australia, Ethiopia, South and North America. It is commercially produced from nickel-copper deposits found in South Africa, Ontario, and Siberia; the huge volume of ore processed makes this extraction profitable despite the low proportion of palladium in these ores. The world's largest single producer of palladium is MMC Norilsk Nickel produced from the Norilsk–Talnakh nickel deposits. The Merensky Reef of the Bushveld Igneous Complex of South Africa contains significant palladium in addition to other platinum group elements. The Stillwater igneous complex of Montana also contains mineable palladium.
Palladium is also produced in nuclear fission reactors and can be extracted from spent nuclear fuel, see Synthesis of noble metals, though the quantity produced is insignificant.
Palladium is found in the rare minerals cooperite and polarite.


Palladium is a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum. It is the least dense and has the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals. It is soft and ductile when annealed and greatly increases its strength and hardness when it is cold-worked. Palladium dissolves slowly in sulfuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid. This metal also does not react with oxygen at normal temperatures (and thus does not tarnish in air). Palladium heated to 800°C will produce a layer of palladium(II) oxide (PdO). It lightly tarnishes in moist atmosphere containing sulfur.
This metal has the uncommon ability to absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen at room temperatures. It is thought that this possibly forms palladium hydride (PdH2) but it is not yet clear if this is a true chemical compound.
Common oxidation states of palladium are 0,+1, +2 and +4. Although originally +3 was thought of as one of the fundamental oxidation states of palladium, there is no evidence for palladium occurring in the +3 oxidation state; this has been investigated via X-ray diffraction for a number of compounds, indicating a dimer of palladium(II) and palladium(IV) instead. Recently, compounds with an oxidation state of +6 were synthesised.


Naturally-occurring palladium is composed of six isotopes. The most stable radioisotopes are 107Pd with a half-life of 6.5 million years, 103Pd with a half-life of 17 days, and 100Pd with a half-life of 3.63 days. Eighteen other radioisotopes have been characterized with atomic weights ranging from 92.936 u (93Pd) to 119.924 u (120Pd). Most of these have half-lives that are less than a half-hour, except 101Pd (half-life: 8.47 hours), 109Pd (half-life: 13.7 hours), and 112Pd (half-life: 21 hours).
The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, 106Pd, is electron capture and the primary mode after is beta decay. The primary decay product before 106Pd is rhodium and the primary product after is silver.
Radiogenic 107Ag is a decay product of 107Pd and was first discovered in the Santa Clara, California meteorite of 1978. The discoverers suggest that the coalescence and differentiation of iron-cored small planets may have occurred 10 million years after a nucleosynthetic event. 107Pd versus Ag correlations observed in bodies, which have clearly been melted since accretion of the solar system, must reflect the presence of short-lived nuclides in the early solar system.


Palladium is used in dentistry, watch making, in blood sugar test strips, in aircraft spark plugs and in the production of surgical instruments and electrical contacts. Palladium is also used to make professional transverse flutes.


The biggest application of palladium in electronics is making the multilayer ceramic capacitor. Palladium (and palladium-silver alloys) are used as electrodes in multi-layer ceramic capacitors.


Hydrogen easily diffuses through heated palladium; thus, it provides a means of purifying the gas.


Palladium itself has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, as an alternative to platinum or white gold. This is due to its naturally white properties, giving it no need for rhodium plating. It is slightly whiter, much lighter and about 12% harder than platinum. Similar to gold, palladium can be beaten into a thin leaf form as thin as 100 nm (1/250,000 in). (Nickel and silver can also be used.) Palladium-gold is a more expensive alloy than nickel-gold, but it's naturally hypoallergenic and holds its white color better.
When platinum was declared a strategic government resource during World War II, many jewelry bands were made out of palladium. As recently as September 2001, palladium was more expensive than platinum and rarely used in jewelry also due to the technical obstacle of casting. However the casting problem has been resolved, and its use in jewelry has increased because of a large spike in the price of platinum and a drop in the price of palladium.
Prior to 2004, the principal use of palladium in jewelry was as an alloy in the manufacture of white gold jewelry, but, beginning early in 2004 when gold and platinum prices began to rise steeply, Chinese jewelers began fabricating significant volumes of palladium jewelry. Johnson Matthey estimated that in 2004, with the introduction of palladium jewelry in China, demand for palladium for jewelry fabrication was 920,000 ounces, or approximately 14% of the total palladium demand for 2004 - an increase of almost 700,000 ounces from the previous year. This growth continued during 2005, with estimated worldwide jewelry demand for palladium of about 1.4 million ounces, or almost 21% of net palladium supply, again with most of the demand centered in China. The popularity of Palladium jewelry is expected to grow in 2008 as the world's biggest producers embark on a joint marketing effort to promote Palladium jewelry worldwide


With the platinotype printing process photographers make fine-art black-and-white prints using platinum or palladium salts. Often used with platinum, palladium provides an alternative to silver.


Palladium leaf is one of several alternatives to silver leaf used in manuscript illumination. The use of silver leaf is problematic due to its predisposition to tarnish. Aluminium leaf is a very inexpensive alternative, however aluminium is much more difficult to work than gold or silver and results in less than optimal results when employing traditional metal leafing techniques, and so palladium leaf is considered the best substitute despite its considerable cost. Platinum leaf may be used to the same effect as palladium leaf with similar working properties, but it is not as readily available in leaf form commercially.


External links

palladium in Afrikaans: Palladium
palladium in Arabic: بالاديوم
palladium in Bengali: প্যালাডিয়াম
palladium in Belarusian: Паладый
palladium in Bosnian: Paladijum
palladium in Bulgarian: Паладий
palladium in Catalan: Pal·ladi (element)
palladium in Czech: Palladium
palladium in Corsican: Palladiu
palladium in Danish: Palladium
palladium in German: Palladium
palladium in Estonian: Pallaadium
palladium in Modern Greek (1453-): Παλλάδιο
palladium in Spanish: Paladio (elemento)
palladium in Esperanto: Paladio
palladium in Basque: Paladio
palladium in French: Palladium (chimie)
palladium in Friulian: Paladi
palladium in Manx: Pallaadjum
palladium in Galician: Paladio
palladium in Korean: 팔라듐
palladium in Armenian: Պալադիում
palladium in Hindi: पलाडियम
palladium in Croatian: Paladij
palladium in Ido: Paladio
palladium in Indonesian: Paladium
palladium in Icelandic: Palladín
palladium in Italian: Palladio (elemento)
palladium in Hebrew: פלדיום
palladium in Javanese: Paladium
palladium in Swahili (macrolanguage): Paladi
palladium in Haitian: Paladyòm
palladium in Kurdish: Palladyûm
palladium in Latin: Palladium
palladium in Latvian: Pallādijs
palladium in Luxembourgish: Palladium
palladium in Lithuanian: Paladis
palladium in Lojban: jinmrpaladi
palladium in Hungarian: Palládium
palladium in Marathi: पॅलॅडियम
palladium in Dutch: Palladium (element)
palladium in Japanese: パラジウム
palladium in Norwegian: Palladium
palladium in Norwegian Nynorsk: Palladium
palladium in Occitan (post 1500): Palladi
palladium in Uzbek: Palladiy
palladium in Polish: Pallad
palladium in Portuguese: Paládio
palladium in Romanian: Paladiu
palladium in Russian: Палладий
palladium in Sicilian: Palladiu (elementu)
palladium in Simple English: Palladium
palladium in Slovak: Paládium
palladium in Slovenian: Paladij
palladium in Serbian: Паладијум
palladium in Serbo-Croatian: Paladijum
palladium in Finnish: Palladium
palladium in Swedish: Palladium
palladium in Tamil: பலேடியம்
palladium in Thai: แพลเลเดียม
palladium in Vietnamese: Paladi
palladium in Turkish: Paladyum
palladium in Ukrainian: Паладій
palladium in Chinese: 钯

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aegis, arm guard, backstop, buffer, bulwark, bumper, contraceptive, copyright, crash helmet, cushion, dashboard, dodger, face mask, fender, finger guard, foot guard, fuse, goggles, governor, guard, guardrail, hand guard, handrail, hard hat, helmet, insulation, interlock, knee guard, knuckle guard, laminated glass, life preserver, lifeline, lightning conductor, lightning rod, mask, mudguard, nose guard, pad, padding, patent, pilot, preventive, prophylactic, protective clothing, protective umbrella, safeguard, safety, safety glass, safety plug, safety rail, safety shoes, safety switch, safety valve, screen, seat belt, shield, shin guard, sun helmet, umbrella, windscreen, windshield
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