The silvery-white metal is one of six platinum group elements (PGEs) found in the Periodic Table of the Elements. The others are iridium, osmium, platinum, rhodium and ruthenium.

I was watching The Curse of Oak Island and they found Palladium in wood samples at over 100 feet deep in the Money Pit area. They believe that this wood comes from a tunnel. Palladium was discovered in 1803 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston and was named after the asteroid Pallas, which had been discovered a few years earlier.

Wollaston isolated palladium from platinum ore and initially thought he had discovered a new element, but it was later determined to be a platinum group metal. It has the symbol of Pd and the atomic number of 46. It’s density is 12.02 g/cm³, melting point of 2,831 °F, and a boiling point of 5,385 °F. Palladium is a lustrous, silvery-white metal belonging to the platinum group of elements,

has excellent corrosion resistance, and is a good conductor of electricity. It exhibits a strong ability to absorb hydrogen, making it useful in various industrial applications. Palladium has six naturally occurring isotopes.

Where is Palladium found?
  • Sudbury Basin, Canada: The Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada, is one of the largest and oldest impact structures on Earth and is known for its rich nickel and copper deposits, often associated with palladium and other platinum group metals (PGMs).
  • Norilsk, Russia: Norilsk, situated in Siberia, Russia, is home to one of the world’s largest nickel and copper mining operations. The Norilsk mining district is a major source of palladium.
  • Bushveld Complex, South Africa: The Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa is known for its vast resources of platinum, palladium, rhodium, and other PGMs, often associated with nickel and copper deposits.
  • Stillwater Complex, United States: Located in Montana, the Stillwater Complex is a geological formation rich in palladium, platinum, and other PGMs associated with nickel and copper ores.
  • Choco District, Colombia: The Choco District in Colombia has shown promise in recent exploration for palladium, often associated with nickel and copper deposits.

Russia and South Africa supply about 40% of the world’s palladium, making them the highest producers each year.

Isotopes are variants of a chemical element that share the same number of protons but differ in the number of neutrons in their atomic nuclei, resulting in variations in atomic mass. These variations do not alter the element’s chemical properties but can affect its stability and certain physical properties. Isotopes play a crucial role in various scientific fields, including radiometric dating, nuclear medicine, and environmental studies.

The study of isotopes has provided valuable insights into the Earth’s history, the age of fossils, and the behavior of chemical elements in different processes. Palladium-106 is the most prevalent isotope, accounting for about 27% of natural palladium. Palladium is found in nature along with other platinum group metals (PGMs) such as platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium.

It is often extracted from nickel and copper ores. Palladium in naturally found alloyed with gold and other platinum grouped metals (PGMs). Jewelers began using palladium in 1939 as a platinum alternative when creating white gold. The precious metal is now periodically used in dental golds and other dental metals.

  • Catalysis: Palladium is widely used as a catalyst in various chemical reactions, including the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and the automotive catalytic converters.
  • Electronics: It is used in the production of multilayer ceramic capacitors, as well as in various electronic components.
  • Jewelry: Palladium is sometimes used as a precious metal in jewelry, as an alternative to gold or platinum.
  • Dentistry: Palladium alloys are used in dental crowns and bridges.
  • Hydrogen Storage: Palladium’s ability to absorb hydrogen makes it useful in hydrogen storage technologies.

Palladium is generally considered to be of low toxicity. However, certain palladium compounds may pose health risks upon prolonged exposure, and inhalation of palladium dust or fumes should be avoided. The price for palladium reached an all-time high of $2,981.40 per ounce on May 3, 2021 driven mainly on speculation of the catalytic converter demand from the automobile industry.

Further Reading


Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

Leave a Reply