What is Foolsaurus?

It's a glossary of investing terms edited and maintained by our analysts, writers and YOU, our Foolish community.


Platinum is a precious metal probably third after gold and silver in public awareness.

Expanded Definition

Platinum is sometimes used in applications like jewelry and in the laboratory for chemical resistance, but along with palladium and rhodium is most often used industrially in catalysts. It is acommon ingredient in catalytic converters used to reduce emissions from cars and trucks. It also finds utility in hydrogenation processes, a common procedure in processing fats and vegetable oils, as well as petroleum and some synthetic chemicals.

Platinum is a commodity traded on world markets.

Englehard, recently acquired by BASF [1], is a leader in precious metal catalyst technology and in catalytic converters. Other players include Davison Division of WR Grace [2], Calsicat division of Mallinckrodt (acquired by Englehard in 1998), and Johnson Matthey [3]. In hydrogenation, the major competitor is Raney nickel, which is considerably less costly, but is pyrophoric.

Engelhard International Limited, division of BASF is a clearing member of the London Metal Exchange.

Related Fool Articles

Related Terms

Recent Mentions on Fool.com