With copper, platinum yields a series of tenacious alloys. Those containing over 40 per cent of platinum are whitish in color. The freezing-point curve of alloys containing from 80 to 100 percent of copper, on the other hand, falls continuously to the melting-point of copper. Often employed in jewelry-making, copper platinum alloys are good for fabricating and forging, but not suited for casting. They tend to be porous and often require re-working in this case.
According to new research led by University College London, and Tufts University, a Copper Platinum alloy has been used successfully as a catalyst in the methane reforming process. Methane in shale gas can now be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy as a catalyst. Platinum or nickel are known to break the carbon-hydrogen bonds in methane found in shale gas, in order to make hydrocarbon fuels and other useful chemicals. However, this process causes ‘coking’–the metal being coated with a layer of carbon which renders it ineffective, blocking reactions at the surface. The new Copper Platinum alloy catalyst is resistant to coking, and is therefore slated to be an effective and valuable solution for methane reforming.