Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why does platinum adsorb hydrogen

  1. Sep 16, 2013 #1
    Why does platinum adsorbs hydrogen, when platinum being one of the inert element? Is there any law which states about the adsorbent and the adsorbent gas? Why do some elements like platinum absorbs while some elements doesn't adsorb gases!? Is there a way to predict that this element or compound will absorb this kind of substances upto this extent.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's a bulk material property similar to why some things dissolve in some substance and others don't.
    But more like how a sponge soaks up water ...

    There are lots of ideas about how Platinum-like metals do what they do, eg.
    ... but, basically, nobody much knows for sure last I looked.
  4. Sep 17, 2013 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I thought it was because hydrogen is very very small and likes to get in between everything, including atoms in the metal lattice.
  5. Sep 17, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Well yeah - but hydrogen is particularly fond of doing that sort of thing with platinum-group metals.
    The question is "how come?"

    ... actually, it says "why?" but I don't like "why" questions.

    OP also has a question about hydrogen cells (specifically electrodes and gas-pressure stuff).
    Platinum catalysis is something of a bugbear in PEM fuel cells but also in Pons/Fleischman type "cold-fusion" so I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    As usual, the specifics of the answer will depend on the context.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook