Ru 44

Discovery of Ruthenium

For the most part, the credit for discovering Ruthenium goes to Karl Ernst Claus, whom first isolated the element in 1844. However, in 1828 Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius and Russian chemist Gottfried W. Osann spotted the element when analyzing residue after dissolving crude platinum ores in aqua regina (a mix of hydrochloric and nitric acids) believing he had found three separate new metals in the residue, he named these metals pluranium, polinium and ruthenium. However, Claus disproved this, and proved that there was only one new metal, Ruthenium.

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Ruthenium Metal - Invulnerable to Aqua Regia

Uses for Ruthenium

There are many little known uses for Ruthenium. Its virtual immunity to acids (as shown in the above) gives it a wide range of uses. For example, when 0.1% of Ruthenium is added to titanium, its corrosion resistance is improved ten fold. A Ruthenium compound can also be used in solar panels, turning energy from the sun into electrical energy, as explained in the video below...
Ruthenium - Periodic Table of Videos

In Nature

While ruthenium is one of the rarest metals on Earth, it can be produced commercially as a byproduct of the refining process of nickel. At room temperature, ruthenium is a solid: it melts at 2333°C and boils at 4147°C. Due to its rarity, ruthenium is a costly metal to obtain. to lower the prices, it is mixed with a sponge material, and the mixture is sold, as shown in the above video. In its solid form, ruthenium looks similar to mercury: a metallic silver color and reflective surface.

Works cited


NurdRage. (2010, July 4). Ruthenium metal - invulnerable to aqua regia [Video file]. Retrieved from

Periodic Videos. (2009, May 11). Ruthenium - Periodic Table of Videos [Video file]. Retrieved from

Ruthenium [Fact sheet]. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2015, from Royal Society of Chemistry website:

Ruthenium element facts. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2015, from