Don't just look at cars. Palladium is increasingly alloyed with expensive platinum or being used alone in jewelry. Palladium jewelry is very hot in Japan, China and all over the area. Also, palladium demand in scientific research is increasing dramatically. Yes--"cold fusion" research. Whether or not cold fusion will prove viable, the scientific research labs are buying and buying. Summary? Palladium blasts through $500, $600, $700 like "butta". PAL goes to $15 or higher.
discount cold fusion. it's widely denied by the scientific community. Maybe, MAYBE, it will materialize. But don't count on it; cold fusion is a dream.
I have been doing research in the field of nanochemistry for a local lab (Nanomech Inc, Springdale AR) for the past 18 months. Nanochemistry and nanotechnology is currently the fastest growing area of research globally. Nano-body armor, nano-paint, nano-fibres, nano-everything. Nano provides efficiency. Why should you care? Solid palladium can absorb 900x its volume of hydrogen. 1L of palladium can absorb 900L of hydrogen gas. This is the most efficient safe storage of hydrogen gas other than pressurized systems, but talk about expensive! 1L of palladium would store 900L of hydrogen gas, yes, but 1L of palladium is 385oz! Expensive! But combine the efficiency that nanotechnology can provide, possibly several orders of magnitude better, and we have a hydrogen storage system for fuel cells thats safe and viable.
IMO that's the fastest growing area use for palladium; palladium has some very interesting molecular properties. It will be vital in the development of fuel cells. It is also commonly used in place of platinum to catalyze hydrogenation of alkenes and some alkynes and nitrogen oxides, and is critical in modern chemistry research. Some off the top applications is hydrogen purification, and petroleum refining. As well, Pd's use in jewelry is rapidly growing. SWC has been very active in promoting palladium in jewelry, and have dramatically increased its use as a precious metal.
Pd is bullish, but cold fusion is a dream. Maybe it will become real, but do you really want to hedge your investments on pseudoscience? Yes pseudoscience. I don't care if CBS 60 minutes had a special on cold fusion. We don't understand it, and cannot scientifically prove it. Therefore is pseudoscience.
Yes, I agree that "cold fusion" may never be commercial, but the Navy lab recently did confirm excess heat and I believe fusion products like helium in test cells. I think that the palladium lattice at the atomic level allows the hydrogen nuclei to get close enough to fuse without the usual high temperatures, but of course, the reaction may be happening at non-commercial rates. But interesting things, consistant with fusion, do appear to be true.
Good info on the fact that Pd is a "sponge" for hydrogen--I agree that chemical processes will be important for Pd demand. My only point about cold fusion was, whether or not it pans out, research is increasing and that is another source of demand for Pd. Thanks.