Friday, March 23, 2012

Rare Ruthenium;


Ruthenium Powder;

I have always been interested in the periodic table; Ruthenium belongs to the platinum group of metals found in the middle of Rows 5 and 6 of the periodic table. Its atomic number is 44, its atomic mass is 101.07, and its chemical symbol is Ru.

Ruthenium is one of the rarest elements on Earth with an abundance estimated at about 0.4 parts per billion. It occurs in combination with other members of the platinum family in ores of platinum. It is obtained as a byproduct of the purification of those ores and during the refining of nickel metal.


Fountain pen nibs are frequently tipped with alloys containing ruthenium. From 1944 onward, the Parker 51 fountain pen was fitted with the "RU" nib, a 14K gold nib tipped with 96.2% ruthenium and 3.8% iridium.



Ruthenium is also a versatile catalyst. Hydrogen sulfide can be split by light by using an aqueous suspension of CdS particles loaded with ruthenium dioxide. This may be useful in the removal of H2S from oil refineries and from other industrial processes

Some ruthenium complexes absorb light throughout the visible spectrum and are being actively researched in various, potential, solar energy technologies.

Ruthenium-based dyes have been used as the electron providers in dye-sensitized solar cells, a promising new low-cost solar cell system.Ruthenium is exceedingly rare and is the 74th most abundant metal on Earth roughly 12 tonnes of Ru is mined each year with world reserves estimated to be 5000 tonnesL. Ruthenia, 

History, Russia) Berzelius and Osann in 1827 examined the residues left after dissolving crude platinum from the Ural mountains in aqua regia. While Berzelius found no unusual metals, Osann thought he found three new metals, one of which he named ruthenium. In 1844 Klaus, generally recognized as the discoverer, showed that Osann's ruthenium oxide was very impure and that it contained a new metal. Klaus obtained 6 g of ruthenium from the portion of crude platinum that is insoluble in aqua regia.

A member of the platinum group, ruthenium occurs native with other members of the group in ores found in the Ural mountains and in North and South America. It is also found along with other platinum metals in small but commercial quantities in pentlandite of the Sudbury, Ontario, nickel-mining region, and in pyroxinite deposits of South Africa.

The metal is isolated commercially by a complex chemical process, the final stage of which is the hydrogen reduction of ammonium ruthenium chloride, which yields a powder. The powder is consolidated by powder metallurgy techniques or by argon-arc weldRuthenium is a hard, white metal and has four crystal modifications. It does not tarnish at room temperatures, but oxidizes explosively. It is attacked by halogens, hydroxides, etc. Ruthenium can be plated by electrodeposition or by thermal decomposition methods. The metal is one of the most effective hardeners for platinum and palladium, and is alloyed with these metals to make electrical contacts for severe wear resistance. A ruthenium-molybdenum alloy is said to be superconductive at 10.6 K. The corrosion resistance of titanium is improved a hundredfold by addition of 0.1% ruthenium. It is a versatile catalyst. Hydrogen sulfide can be split catalytically by light using an aqueous suspension of CdS particles loaded with ruthenium dioxide. It is thought this may have application to removal of H2S from oil refining and other industrial processes. Compounds in at least eight oxidation states have been found, but of these, the +2, +3, and +4 states are the most common. Ruthenium tetroxide, like osmium tetroxide, is highly toxic. In addition, it may explode. Ruthenium compounds show a marked resemblance to those of cadmium.

The metal is priced at about $30/g.

Aqua regia  is a highly corrosive mixture of acids, fuming yellow or red solution, also called nitro-hydrochloric acid.Some excerpts courtesy Wikipedia 


An interesting link, please click Ruthenium




“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  Seneca

1 comment:

liquidgasanalyzers said...

Thanks for the post. H2S in Crude Oil AnalyzerYou should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!