Element 46 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is palladium. Another element that finds uses in the catalytic converters in our cars, palladium can also be used for hydrogen fuel storage and, more rarely, for making flutes.

Like the previous element in our series, rhodium, palladium is used in the catalytic converters in cars which help remove some harmful pollutant gases.

Palladium is also used to make some professional transverse flutes, albeit rarely. More commonly, it’s used in some parts for high-end flutes. The record for the most expensive flute ever made, on the other hand, is held by a platinum flute which sold in 1986 for $187,000.

Palladium also has the potential for use in hydrogen fuel storage, though as it is a relatively rare metal, its cost would make it prohibitive for large scale use.

In our everyday lives, palladium can also be found in jewellery. It’s one of the metals commonly used in white gold alloy, and wedding bands made from palladium are also becoming more popular.

Remember, you can keep track of all of the previous entries in this series on the site here, or on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s dedicated page.

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