In the late 1700s, scientists were sorting new elements from platinum ores. One element that came out of this work was palladium, named after the asteroid, Pallas. The metal was discovered in 1803.

Palladium is a silver-white metal that is both ductile and malleable. It is more prone to attack from common acids than other platinum metals. The other platinum metals hardly respond to hydrochloric acid at room temperature. Palladium has an unusual tendency to pick up such gases as hydrogen, and oxygen. Palladium can absorb hydrogen up to 900 times its own volume. It is fairly reactive chemically and readily forms metallic compounds.

Commercial applications of palladium include its use:

BCIT Chemistry Resource Center
http://nobel.scas.bcit.ca/resource/