Rhenium was named after "Rhenus", the Latin name for the Rhine. It is a rare element (abundance 4 x 10-4ppm in the earth’s crust) and does not occur in quantity in any ore. It is found in ores which contain molybdenum from which it can be readily recovered. The metal is obtained by hydrogen reduction of the potassium perrhenate salt, obtained by precipitation of the perrhenate ion (ReO4 )- - from an oxidised solution. Rhenium is a silvery coloured metal which resists corrosion and oxidation but slowly tarnishes in moist air. It is soluble in nitric and sulphuric acids. Applications for the metal include its use as an alloying element with tungsten, the resulting alloy having a very high electrical resistance making it suitable for electrical filaments. Rhenium has a very high melting point and is used in high temperature thermocouples, electrical contacts and thermistors.


1925 by W. Noddack, O. Berg and Ida Tacke in Berlin, Germany.

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Atomic number 75 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 186.207 gmol-1Clip
Density 21023 kgm-3Clip
Lattice constant 276 fmClip
Melting Point 3453 KClip
Boiling Point 5873 KClip
Specific heat capacity 138 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 49 Wm-1K-1Clip
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See also: Periodic Table.

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Subjects: Chemistry