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Palladium,  46Pd
General properties
Name, symbol Palladium, Pd
Appearance Silvery-white lustrous metal
Palladium in the periodic table


Atomic number 46
Standard atomic weight (Ar) 106.42(1)
Group, block , d-block
Period period 5
Electron configuration [Kr] 4d10
per shell
2, 8, 18, 18
Physical properties
Phase Solid
Melting point 1828.05 K ​(1554.9 °C, ​2830.82 °F)
Boiling point 3236 K ​(2963 °C, ​5365 °F)
Density near r.t. 12.023 g/cm3
when liquid, at  10.38 g/cm3
Heat of fusion 16.74 kJ/mol
Heat of 358 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity 25.98 J/(mol·K)
Atomic properties
Oxidation states 0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6 ​(a mildly basic oxide)
Electronegativity Pauling scale: 2.20
energies 1st: 804.4 kJ/mol
2nd: 1870 kJ/mol
3rd: 3177 kJ/mol
Atomic radius empirical: 137 pm
Covalent radius 139±6 pm
Van der Waals radius 163 pm
Crystal structure ​face-centered cubic (fcc)
Speed of sound thin rod 3070 m/s (at 20 °C)
Thermal expansion 11.8 µm/(m·K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity 71.8 W/(m·K)
Electrical resistivity 105.4 Ω·m (at 20 °C)
Magnetic ordering Paramagnetic
Young's modulus 121 GPa
Shear modulus 44 GPa
Bulk modulus 180 GPa
Poisson ratio 0.39
Mohs hardness 4.75
Vickers hardness 400–600 MPa
Brinell hardness 320–610 MPa
CAS Registry Number 7440-05-3
Naming after asteroid Pallas, itself named after Pallas Athena
Discovery and first isolation William Hyde Wollaston (1803)
· references

Palladium is a chemical element with symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It is a platinum group metal, used mostly in electronics, though it shows promise in hydrogen storage.



Palladium is much more reactive than the other platinum group metals. When heated to 800 °C, a black layer of palladium(II) oxide forms on the surface of the metal. Palladium dissolves slowly in concentrated nitric acid, in hot, concentrated sulfuric acid, and, when finely divided, in hydrochloric acid, to form their respective salts.

One of the most interesting properties of palladium is it's ability to absorb 900 times its own volume of hydrogen at standard ambient temperature and pressure. This property is intensely studied in hydrogen storage technologies, especially because it's simple, reversible and highly selective.


Palladium is a soft silver-white metal, with similar properties to platinum. It is the least dense (12.023 g/cm3) of the platinum group metals. Palladium melts at 1554.9 °C (the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals) and boils at 2963 °C. The metal is soft and ductile when annealed, but its strength and hardness increases when cold-worked.


Palladium is sold by various jewelers, usually as Pt/Pd alloy.

Certain monolithic ceramic capacitors contain palladium either alone, or as an alloy with silver, palladium, and with traces of nickel. The extraction process is quite complex, but a good method can be found on the indeedItdoes YT channel.

Palladium can also be extracted from catalytic convertors, where it is usually alloyed with platinum or rhodium, depending on the type of converter.

Palladium coins, such as the Soviet 25-rouble commemorative coin also contain palladium.


Palladium can be extracted from various Pd/Pt alloys by dissolving them in nitric acid, followed by filtration to separate it from the platinum and reduction of the palladium salt to palladium metal.

It can also be extracted from certain monolithic ceramic capacitors, by dissolving them repeatedly in various acids and reducing it with various metals.


  • Pd/C catalysts for hydrogenation
  • Make palladium hydride
  • Palladium(II) chloride synthesis



Bulk palladium is inert to most common chemicals and does not react with the human body, making it safe to use. Finely divided palladium metal can be pyrophoric and is considered a fire hazard.

Palladium salts however are quite toxic and should be handled with care.


Bulk palladium is inert and can be stored in any container. Powdered palladium is more reactive and should be stored in closed containers, away from flame sources.


As palladium is expensive, it's better to try to recycle it than throwing it away.


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