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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Rhenium  is a chemical element with the symbol Re and atomic number 75.
  • A rare silvery-white, heavy, polyvalent transition metal, rhenium resembles manganese chemically, and is used in some alloys.
  • Rhenium does not occur free in nature or as a compound in a distinct mineral species

Technology

  • Rhenium recovery by solvent extraction from the leach liquors resulting from the processing of molybdenum and tungsten ores exceeded 99%.
  • Alloying tungsten to rhenium solves the problem because adding tungsten decreases the grain size and increases grain boundaries.
  • Improvements in rolling technology will ultimately reduce the cost of rhenium plate.
  • By establishing fundamental deformation behavior for rhenium, the road is paved for new methods of plate
    manufacture.

Extraction Process

  • Rhenium is obtained as a by-product of molybdenum refinement, and rhenium-molybdenum alloys are superconducting.
  • Commercial rhenium is extracted from molybdenum roaster-flue gas obtained from copper-sulfide ores.
  • Rhenium extraction by precipitation method from industrial nitrate - Sulphate solutions, formed during sorption processing of productive UL solutions, in the presence of polyelectrolyte, yields a high concentration rate of rhenium.
  • Rhenium is now recovered primarily from molybdenite roaster flue dust.

Use

  • This element is used in platinum-rhenium catalysts which in turn are primarily used in making lead-free, high-octane gasoline and in high-temperature super alloys that are used to make jet engine parts.
  • Rhenium is also used as an electrical contact material because it has good wear resistance and withstands arc corrosion.
  • Rhenium is used as an important component in super alloys for blades in turbine engines and this is the major use today.
  • Rhenium has occasionally been used for plating jewelry.
  • Rhenium is used in petroleum-reforming catalysts for the production of high-octane hydrocarbons, which are used in the production of lead-free gasoline.

Market

  • Chile has the world's largest reserves and was the leading producer as of 2005.
  • Total world production is between 40 and 50 tons/year; the main producers are in Chile, USA and Kazakhstan.
  • In the next 5 years, demand for rhenium metal was expected to follow the demand for turbine engines and petroleum.
  • Molymet is the world’s largest producer of rhenium and dominates the market.
  • Demand for rhenium in the alloying sector relies to a great extent on the fortunes of the aerospace industry.

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