Other Industrial Applications
Like chlorine, caustic soda is produced in the chloralkali process and has a range of uses such as the production of organic and inorganic chemicals, bleaching in the pulp and paper industry and as an active ingredient in soaps and detergents.
Due to their hardness, corrosion resistance, high melting point and high temperature stability ruthenium and iridium can be used to coat the cathode and anode respectively in the chloralkali process where aqueous sodium chloride (saltwater) is electrolysed. Chlorine gas is released at the anode and the cathode reduces water to hydrogen, leaving sodium hydroxide, better known as caustic soda.
Whether as an engineering plastic, a substitute metal or the fibres in carpets, clothing and other materials, nylon is all around us every day in a range of applications.
The raw material for nylon is cyclohexane which owes its production from benzene and butene to palladium's unique hydrogen-absorbing qualities. A palladium membrane absorbs hydrogen atoms from butene molecules and passes them over to benzene where they react to produce cyclohexane (and leaving butadiene which is the raw material for synthetic rubber.
Silicones are very durable materials with high resistance to chemical corrosion, fire and extreme temperatures. They are also pliable, waterproof and electrically insulating.
Platinum is used in the manufacture of speciality silicones: adding a platinum compound to the silicone mixture catalyses the cross-linking process which results in the formation of a silicone product with the desired properties.
Platinum catalysts are also used in the production of silicone adhesive that – in the shape of pressure sensitive adhesive – makes notes stick to a surface, a common everyday product that almost everybody uses.
Modern day construction, packaging, tyres, footwear, flooring and adhesives are just some of the many everyday applications of synthetic rubber.
The raw material for synthetic rubber is butadiene which owes its production from benzene and butene to palladium's unique hydrogen-absorbing qualities. A palladium membrane absorbs hydrogen atoms from butene molecules and passes them over to benzene, leaving butadiene (and producing cyclohexane which is the raw material for nylon).
A thermocouple consists of two wires of different metals joined together at one end to enable the temperature of the joint between the two metals to be calculated. Platinum and platinum-rhodium alloys are used for three high temperature grades of thermocouples.