We could live a long time without gold, but NOT this more precious metal

I'm talking platinum. As in catalytic converters.

I'm talking platinum. As in catalytic converters. Cars, trucks, earth movers, fork-lifts, nearly every internal combustion engine made in the past thirty years has a catalytic converter. Most contain platinum and rhodium as catalysts. Right now there's a platinum shortage. That's a global shortage, but it's focused on one country because nearly all the earth's platinum comes rom South Africa.

Despite the fact that platinum's already selling for more than twice the price of gold on the resource market, South Africa cannot produce enough. One reason right now: electricity shortages in that nation. And some experts say that could continue through 2012.

Platinum recovery, or recycling, has long been a profitable business in the U.S. and elsewhere. Any smart green tech innovator who can improve the current recovery processes will be in fine position to gain from South Africa's electrical shortages.

Or you could try prospecting for platinum in your back yard.

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