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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Ruthenium is a metallic chemical element which is fairly rare in the Earth's crust.
  • Ruthenium is a hard, white metal and has four crystal modifications.
  • In appearance, ruthenium is a dull silver-gray element which tends to be very brittle and extremely hard.
  • Ruthenium tends to occur along with deposits of platinum and is primarily obtained as a byproduct of mining and refining platinum.
  • Ruthenium is also a versatile catalyst.
  • Ruthenium is a versatile metal that can easily form compounds with carbon ruthenium bonds, as these compounds tend to be darker and react more quickly than the osmium compounds.

Extraction Process

  • 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.
  • A conventional method for the separation of ruthenium from the platinum metals is based on the distillation of volatile ruthenium tetroxide.
  • Ruthenium is obtained by separating it from other platinum metals, such as platinum, palladium, and osmium, with which it occurs.

Uses

  • Ruthenium is primarily used as an alloying agent.
  • The metal is also used to make wear-resistant moving parts for various consumer goods, and it appears in some electronics.
  • Ruthenium is also used in some advanced high-temperature single-crystal superalloys, with applications including the turbine blades in jet engines.
  • The growing use of ruthenium in widely different fields has made it necessary to develop simple, inexpensive and sensitive methods for its determination.
  • Ruthenium catalysts can be used in a range of processes from the manufacture of acetic acid to that of ammonia.

Market

  • Demand for ruthenium, the forgotten metal, from the IT sector exploded when a new method of coating computer hard disks, called perpendicular magnetic recording, gained popularity.
  • The consumption of ruthenium in the sector will grow even faster than the actual sales numbers of drives would indicate.
  • Ruthenium use in chip resistors remained flat with component miniaturisation and growth in the electronics market balancing one another in their effect on metal consumption.

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