What is ‘Palladium’

Palladium is a shiny, silvery metal used in many types of manufacturing processes, particularly for electronics and industrial products. Palladium has an atomic number of 46 on the periodic table of the elements. The majority of the world’s supply of this rare metal comes from mines located in the United States, Russia, South Africa and Canada.

Explaining ‘Palladium’

Palladium is an important component in electronics, and it is used in many new technologies, such as fuel cells. As a commodity, it has drawn the attention of investors because it is not easily substituted for other metals. The element is an important component of catalytic converters. Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs).

Fun Facts and Uses

The largest industrial use for palladium is in catalytic converters because the metal serves as a great catalyst that speeds up chemical reactions. This shiny metal is 12.6% harder than platinum, making the element more durable than platinum.


In 2015, humans mined more than 208,000 tons of palladium. Russia produced the most at 80,000 tons, and South Africa was second with 73,000 tons. Canada ranked third with 24,000 tons. The United States produced 12,500 tons from two palladium mines in southern Montana owned by Stillwater Palladium. More than 60 tons of palladium in the United States came from recycling of catalytic converters in 2015.

Further Reading

  • Synthesis of 2, 2-dimethyl-2H-chromenes via a palladium (II) catalysed reaction – [PDF]
  • Palladium-Catalysed Coupling of Organotinsulfides with Heteroaromatic Halides – [PDF]
  • Palladium-catalyzed carbonylation of terminal acetylenes: a new method for synthesis of acetylenecarboxylates – [PDF]
  • Microscopic observations of palladium used for cold fusion – [PDF]
  • Synthesis of benzylboronates via palladium-catalyzed borylation of benzyl halides with pinacolborane – [PDF]
  • Palladium-catalyzed arylation of allylic alcohols with aryl iodides in water – [PDF]
  • An anticancer metallobenzylmalonate: crystal structure and anticancer activity of a palladium complex of 2, 2′-bipyridine and benzylmalonate – [PDF]
  • Formylation of aryl halides catalyzed by a silica-supported phosphine palladium complex – [PDF]
  • Recyclable and Ligandless Suzuki Coupling Catalyzed by Carbon Nanotube‐Supported Palladium Nanoparticles Synthesized in Supercritical Fluid – [PDF]
  • Palladium-catalyzed dicarbonylation of terminal acetylenes: a new method for selective synthesis of unsaturated diesters and maleic anhydrides – [PDF]