Ruthenium is a rare member of the platinum group of metals. It is a lustrous, silvery coloured metal which is unaffected by air, water and acids, but is soluble in fused alkalis. Extraction of the metal is achieved by several techniques; for example, extraction of the mixed platinum group metals by dissolution in aqua regia, followed by treatment of the various soluble and insoluble fractions. Applications of the metal are limited; as a pure metal, ruthenium is extremely hard and brittle and, consequently, difficult to machine. It is relatively unreactive, and is used as an alloying element with platinum and palladium to produce alloys which have improved wear resistance, and with titanium to improve the materialís corrosion resistance. In all cases, the ruthenium addition has to be less than 15%, otherwise the resultant alloy is too hard to work.


1808 by J.A. Sniadecki at the University of Vilno, Poland and then again by G.W. Osnann in 1828 at the University of Tartu, Russia.

0.001 ppm in the earthís crust.

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Atomic number 44 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 101.07 gmol-1Clip
Density 12360 kgm-3Clip
Lattice constant 270 fmClip
Melting Point 2603 KClip
Boiling Point 4373 KClip
Specific heat capacity 238 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 117 Wm-1K-1Clip
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See also: Periodic Table, Platinum.

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Subjects: Chemistry