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In 1884 Karl Klaus who lived in Ruthenia, modern-day Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, discovered Ruthenium while analyzing the residue of a platinum sample from the Ural Mountains. It is believed that a Polish chemist produces Ruthenium in 1807, but other scientists could not recreate it, so he removed his alleged discovery.
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Applications & Uses

Ruthenium is most commonly used as an alloying agent especially hardening platinum and palladium. When adding 0.1% Ruthenium to Titanium, it makes it 100% more resistant to corrosion. It is also used as a plating with a darker gray pewter-like shine when a darker finish is preferred.


Ruthenium is not very reactive so it does not have many useful compounds. Ruthenium, along with other transition metals, mostly just has individual uses.


Ruthenium does not have many well-known isotopes but it does have some smaller ones that are still useful. One of these include, Ru-99 which is used for NMR studies. Ru-96 is used for the production of the radioisotopes. Ru-98 can be used to study excitations in atomic nuclei. Ru-101 can be used in studies linked to the structure as well as the vibrations of nuclei.

Fun Facts

- It was the last of the six platinum group metals to be discovered.

- It is considered very rare and only around 20 tons of ruthenium are annually produced.

- It is the seventy-forth most common metal on Earth.

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Works Consulted

- Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.

- Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

- Chemistry Explained- Ruthenium:

- Periodic Table- Ruthenium:

- Trace Sciences International- Ruthenium: