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Peak Platinum

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Dan5, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    Besides peak oil, we may also have peak platinum. The global production rate is currently 130 tons, most of which is used for jewelry, medicines, and to supply the losses of catalytic convertors.

    Our current yearly uses are as follows

    230 tons total
    with the following breakdown

    35.5 tons for medicines and related manufacturing equipment
    78 tons for jewelry and investments
    113 tons for car catalytic convertors (enough to make approximately 37.7 million cars), assuming 3 grams/catalytic convertor
    Remainder 3.5 to other resources

    The 35.5 number is very inflexible and the 78 will probably increase, if you do the math, that means 1 person per approximately one thousand is buying one platinum ring (11 grams) per year or one person per 2500 is buying a platinum coin.

    My concern is that with regular cars we do not have enough meet the Clean Air Acts in the respective countries and it would be very disappointing for the countries to ease the regulations due to a platinum shortage

    Another compelling reason to switch to EVs
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Good point!
     
  3. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Right behind you...
    Palladium can be used for catalytic converters as well. It fell out of fashion though when Russia tried to corner the market.
     
  4. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    A typical catalytic convertor has both platinum and palladium in it- really I should have called the thread "platinum group metal peak". Currently each car has around 3-5 grams of platinum, 1-2 grams of palladium and 1-2 grams of rhodium
    We are capped at platinum, currently the automotive industry uses 50% of the platinum/yr, 60% of the Palladium and 81% of the Rhodium. Increasing the mining of these metals is going to be difficult at best to meet the increase in ICE vehicles
     
  5. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    There is a difference between peak oil and platinum scarcity. We are consuming the oil. Platinum is easily recycled. We can continually recycle the platinum coming out of our cars to put into new cars. We can't do that with oil.
     

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