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I'm currently extracting some platinum from an electrode. One part seems stuck in some way (possibly welded) to a piece of steel. I'm guessing it's steel because it's magnetic. I did a heat test on the piece. Results:

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Left side is platinum, right side suspected steel, and the platinum is not oxidized, as expected. What would be the best/easiest way to

  1. determine if this is actually steel/iron;
  2. dissolve or otherwise separate it?

My resources are limited, I've got a propane torch and household items, and can of course order chemicals if needed, but no acetylene torch or anything.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe $\ce{HCl}$, which will attack steel and not platinum? $\endgroup$ – Todd Minehardt Jan 7 '18 at 2:08
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Cut off as much of the "steel" as possible (hacksaw or angle grinder will work - use gloves & eye protection) then immerse the stub in 33% hydrochloric acid until the "steel" remnants are fully dissolved. Neutralise the acid with bicarbonate before disposal.

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