A Very Valuable Fridge

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From the Wikipedia entry on Iridium:

Iridium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust, with annual production and consumption of only three tonnes. However, it does find a number of specialized industrial and scientific applications.* Iridium is employed when high corrosion resistance and high temperatures are needed, as in spark plugs, crucibles for recrystallization of semiconductors at high temperatures, electrodes for the production of chlorine in the chloralkali process, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators used in unmanned spacecraft. Iridium compounds also find applications as catalysts for the production of acetic acid.


Annual production of iridium circa 2000 was around 3 tonnes or about 100,000 troy ounces (ozt). The price of iridium as of 2007 was $440 USD/ozt.


*Note that these applications do not include ‘… the cosmetic decoration of domestic appliances’