Palladium, a platinum group metal, is facing increased demand for its application in the automotive industry in an attempt to promote a clean and sustainable environment.
Fremont, CA: Palladium is already gaining inclination for its usage in cutting car emissions. In 2020, there will be a surge in demand, indicating the existence of only a few well-established palladium mines. Palladium, a platinum group metal, is experiencing increased demand and prices for its application in catalytic converters in cars. It has become a mandatory metal in the automotive industry as it looks to clean up its environmental performance. The growth can be shown in figures where global production of palladium reached 214 tons in 2017, which is higher than the annual gold production of around 175 tons. This significant growth has influenced many new players to start mining palladium owing to their sudden interest in the metal.
The majority of the world’s palladium is produced by a single company—Russia-based Norilsk Nickel and is responsible for 41% of global production in 2017. This forces other miners to looking to develop new projects to challenge this monopoly. The rising demand for palladium is enabling miners to flock to the metal while embracing them to adopt new and resurgent projects. Palladium is one of the critical components in catalytic converters which are being used to remove the harmful gases from car exhausts while globally shifting towards cleaner and greener environments. Surging ahead, hybrids are expected to grow to 20 percent of the power trains on the road for cars having small gasoline engines and palladium bearing catalytic converters. The emission standards getting stricter day by day also increases palladium loadings per car, displaying a future having a strong demand for palladium.
The metal is also seeing a growing demand due to burgeoning recycling industry focusing on disused older vehicles, constructed before environmental considerations were so pressing, as a source of palladium. An early report from ThermoFisher has shown that 41.2 tons of palladium were recovered from spent catalytic converters alone. It creates a parallel industry of recycling, reprocessing, and re-selling that, combined with similar efforts to use platinum and rhodium, was worth around $3bn. The recent growth in demand illustrates how quickly interest in a commodity can change.